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Ben Franklins Self Improvement

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This series of eight teachings is to help you hear the voice of God with greater clarity, consistency, and confidence. Your guide for this exciting journey is Rev. John Webster. It is our earnest prayer that your journey to hear God's voice is dramatically shortened and enhanced by this series with the first teaching entitled "Hearing God's Voice."
I want to welcome you to hearing the voice of God now. It's been a long journey for me learning to hear the voice of the Lord. It didn't just happen overnight. Wouldn't it be wonderful with regard to hearing God's voice if I could just lay hands on each one of you and impart a divine supernatural ability that from this point on you would be hearing God's voice with clarity, consistency, and confidence. And we could just get this all done this morning with laying on of hands and impartation of gifts and stir that up. I would like to do that, but it doesn't work that way. That's not how it's developed. That's not how it's imparted to us. It's a learning process, like almost everything we do - it's a process.
We learn it as we go and my process began some years ago in 1977 when I came to know the Lord - my heart was to always have an intimate relationship with the Lord and to bond with the Lord in a real intimate way.
That requires communication doesn't it. Ladies can tell us that the basis for a good relationship is certainly communication. We men sometimes don't really understand that, but it's true nonetheless that a good relationship is based on communication. It's the same with our relationship with the Lord.
If you're going to have a good quality relationship with the Lord, there has to be communication -- and if communication is strained and you find it difficult to hear God's voice - then probably you find your relationship with the Lord not where you want it to be -- that it is not to the depth that you would like it to be. So there's a real value in learning to hear God's voice. That's what we're going to be talking about for the next eight times that we're going to be teaching this series on hearing God's voice.
We're going to be talking about hearing the voice of the Lord in your inner man. On the inside and hearing it now. I'm a practical type of person. I love principles. I love truth. But I also like the practical applications of those truths. Tell me all that you want to tell me and tell me the theory behind it, and then tell me how I can use it right now. So as we teach hearing God's voice, one of our objectives is to help you realize you're hearing God's voice, that your hearing it right now, and that you can learn to recognize it -- that it is God. It's not the voice of your own heart. It's not just some thought process or daydreaming, but it's actually God speaking to you and once you learn to recognize that's really God you can believe it -- your can get a fluid dialog with the Lord -- He can begin to speak into your life. The communication develops the relationship.
I have done a lot research for this seminar, which I have been teaching for quite a number of years. As I was researching it and reading other people's material on hearing God's voice -- there's a lot of good information out there -- I've noticed that the standard approach in the teaching on hearing God's voice is hearing God's voice and the different methods that He speaks. God speaks through the Bible, doesn't He? Sure He does. He speaks in the pastor's preaching, He speaks in the counselor's counseling, He speaks through the teacher's teaching, He speaks to us in dreams and in visions, He speaks to us sometimes just through one another in conversations.
Those are all wonderful ways that God speaks, but what I want to talk about is when God has one on one dialog and communication with you -- He says something to you and you receive it on the inside in your spirit man -- what that voice sounds like -- How do we know it's God or maybe our own heart. How can we discern the two? And so what we're going to be talking about is the fact that you hear God's voice, that you probably have mistaken the voice of the Lord for the voice of your own heart. You've dismissed it as thinking -- well that's just me. Passed it off as just being your own thoughts or heart speaking to you . Not really recognizing it as being the voice of the Lord. We're going to help you identify it, recognize it, describe what the voice of the Lord sounds like when He really does talk to you -- so that you can fix on that and ignore the other which is the voice of your own heart.
We're also going to talk about what the voice of the Lord does not sound like. Some of the common misconceptions that we have that we can get hung up on or caught up in focusing on the misconceptions, and we're going to identify some of the common ones. So that when you come to hear the voice of the Lord, you can say well that's not God. That's one of the misconceptions I've been operating out of. I can set that to the side and focus on what really the voice of the Lord is.
And then implementing hearing the voice of the Lord in your every day life. God wants to speak to us as we prepare the sermons to preach, the teachings to teach, but God also wants to speak to us in every day life - about every aspect of our life. That's why this is immensely practical. As you go along in your daily life, that God can speak to you day by day -- in fact, even moment by moment, having open communication and dialog. I can't tell you what a blessing it's been to me to learn to hear the voice of the Lord. It's like having a continual conversation with the Lord as you're talking with the Lord day by day, driving down the street in your car, having a conversation with God.
There's a tremendous amount of things that He wants to tell us, that He wants to minister to us, that He wants to speak into our lives, and it is just a tremendous blessing to receive and to receive it with confidence. And please understand that to hear God's voice , it's not something that only advanced, very spiritual Christians do,. This is not step l0 or 20 in your Christian experience. This is square one, this is the basics. Every Christian should be able to say - I hear God's voice . I hear it clearly, consistently, and with confidence. That's not being spiritually proud. That's not bragging. That should be normal, everyday Christian life. This is the very basics. We should be able to hear God's voice and tell people that I hear it clearly, and I hear it with confidence. That's what Christian experience is about, communing with the Lord and dialoging with the Lord. That's one of the basics in our relationship with the Lord.
Then finally we're going to talk about what helps us to hear God's voice, what hinders us from hearing God's voice, and finally how can we release God's voice through us. So we just have a tremendous amount planned, and I trust that you are going to enjoy it -- and as I said early on, that when I first came to know the Lord in 1977, hearing God's voice was very difficult for me. I just didn't fall into it. It didn't come natural. It wasn't just an intuitive part of my Christian experience. I really struggled with it and I felt that I was called to ministry, so I knew it was real important for me to learn to hear God's voice to minister to others and yet it was such a difficulty for me and the way God made me - I'm an analytical type of person. I have a linear thought process. Analytical, reasoning -- things that don't make sense to me are real hard for me to get hold of. When somebody tells me well I can enter into this experience -- I want them to tell me -- okay, now explain this to me. Explain the experience. How I can validate it by the word of God , how I know it's really true, and then tell me how I can do it. Somehow my thought processes work that way. I can only say that God made me that way and because of that and because of that analytical reasoning that I have - maybe some of you have that too - it's real hard just to fall into things - just to tumble into them.
Hearing the voice of the Lord was that way for me. And feeling that I was called to ministry and called to minister prophetically to the Body of Christ, knowing that I was going to hear the voice of the Lord in order to prophecy over people and to have to hear it keenly and sharply -- I began a pursuit to hear God's voice. And for four, five, six years nothing happened -- and then finally Sept. 2, 1983, I had this major breakthrough. We were in a church service and I actually prophesied over three people in one church service. Wow! That was such a powerful move of God. That was a real breakthrough for me because I went for months and months - really more like years without anything. I kept saying , man I'm not getting anything. I'd ask God and talk to God and say I just don't hear anything and from that very early beginning back in 1983 and a continual process of learning and growing and developing until here we are fifteen years later and now the voice of the Lord flows clearly, consistently, and confidently.
That's where God wants to bring every one of us. In fact I was mentioning that I was in Israel just a month ago. The Lord had spoken to me some years ago as I was prophesying and gave me a prophetic word for Yassar Arafat and Hasne Mubarik and I just opened up and began to prophecy the word of the Lord. We were at a church service and I began to prophecy to the President of Egypt and to Chairman Yassar Arafat and the Lord even in these prophecies spoke some very specific things, primarily to Hasne Mubarik. Things that were going on in his counseling chamber and things that counselors would be telling him and how he was supposed to respond to those things. Things that were going to be happening in Egypt, including civil uprising was part of the prophetic word.
And so the Lord can speak to us in a very specific level. Now this process should not take fifteen years. This is not a fifteen year process to learn to hear God's voice. It doesn't take that long. God wants to boil it right down through the experience of the people that have gone on before and have heard these lessons. He wants to be able to convince and boil it down and teach you these lessons in just a very short period of time. One of my prayers and objectives for you is that my fifteen years of experience and the mistakes that I have made and the success that I have experienced - that I can boil all that down and give it to you in a weekend's time. This is not intended to be a long process. I had to learn it through the school of hard knocks. You get to hear it through a formal seminar. The seminar is easier. So if you want to avoid the school of hard knocks in learning to hear God's voice , I recognize that there is no substitute for experience, and I'm going to be giving you the truth and you're going to have to walk that truth out. That walking out process may take some years, but we're going to give you a tremendous head start on this process.
Turn to Genesis Chapter 1. We're going to talk about the first mention of the voice of the Lord as God spoke. Every one of you in here is hearing God's voice. We're not going to teach you how to hear the voice of the Lord because you're already doing it. Maybe you don't realize it. You don't know it, and if you were talking to me, you might say but I don't really hear God's voice. I've got some real good news for you. Yes, you do. You're already hearing the voice of the Lord, and you're hearing it for two reasons. There's two reasons why you're hearing God's voice.
The first one is because you're created to hear the voice of the Lord. God made you to hear His voice. You're hearing it because He made you, He designed within you the ability to hear His voice. In fact He's done this with all of creation. In Genesis, chapter 1 we find that all of creation is created to hear the voice of the Lord. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And then in verse 3, it says this. "Then God said." God used His voice. He spoke, "Let there be light." God used His voice in order to create -- and when He spoke, what is it that responded? What is it that existed that responded? You see God has created everything to hear and to respond to His voice.
When He designed us, in fact when He designed all of creation, He designed it with the ability to hear and respond to His voice. And so when God said, "Let there be light," whatever it was that existed in the nothingness and vacuum of space, before creation took place, heard and responded to the voice of the Lord, and there was light. In verse 6, it says, "And then God said, let there be firmament in the midst of the water and let it divide the waters from the waters." Again we hear God speaking. He spoke and creation responded, and then we had the separation of the waters. The creation of the atmosphere and the oceans , and the various things that were created. We see this process repeated throughout Genesis.
Verse 9 says, "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together." Verse 11 God says, "Let the earth bring forth grass." Verse 14, God said, "Let there be light." Verse 20, God said, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly." Verse 24, God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures." Verse 26, God said, "Let us make man in our image."
God did all these creating through His voice, and when He spoke, His voice reached out and touched and created and caused things to happen. You see we hear God's voice because we were created to. The radio in your car or your home receives radio waves and can play music because it was designed to do that. That's the reason it was created. When God made us, all of the human race, He designed within us the ability to receive His voice, to hear His voice. It's part of the way we are made. In fact , you can't stop hearing the voice of the Lord. You'd have to do something very serious in order to stop. Just like you have natural ears that are hearing my voice now, they were created to hear sound. They always hear unless you do something to interfere with that. Put your fingers in your ears or unless they were damaged through an accident or disease, then you hear . You have eyelids for your eyes, but you don't have earlids for your ears. You don't always see, but you always hear. Isn't that right? We operate the same way in our inner man.

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Ben Franklin Essay

...Franklin's Argument in "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America” In Ben Franklin’s Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America, he expresses his views and opinions towards the white settlers and the Native Americans as ‘Savages’. He has used a fluctuating style of tone while writing this argument and this feature of his writing cannot be overlooked. His approach in expressing his views and perspective about the white settlers, as well as the Native Americans keeps the audience guessing who the real ‘savages’ are. Franklin really hit it on the head in this oppositional essay written in 1784. In this brilliant essay Franklin makes observations on how the society of Indians (mostly the six nations of the confederation of Iroquois tribes) differs from that of the white English in America, the main point of his essay being how the Indians are anything but savages. He makes a lot of interesting observations in this essay, first being when he compares the government in the Indian public councils to that of the British House of Commons. First, he talks about how in the Indian council when someone is to speak he rises while the others stay quiet and listen, then wait after he is done for him to recollect anything he has missed, for they see it as "highly indecent" to interrupt the speaker (Lawrence, 1961). Then, he talks about how in the British House of Commons people talk over each other so much that frequently the speaker has to call the house to order. He goes......

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