Tag Archive | Be Still My Heart

One Thing I Missed

As many people do, at the beginning of the year, I’ve been considering the year just finished, and digging deep to find how the year I’m entering can be better; more productive, more quiet, more adventurous, more of whatever it is supposed to be.

Like a hastily taken photograph, there has been a lot of noise in this picture.

I have been able to narrow that noise down to three top priorities.

I posted about them here and here.

In short, they are; 1. Use my writing to help others to heal from their trauma. 2. Take my photography to a higher level to show God’s magnificence and 3. To help people in a more person to person sort of way.

All of these simply mean that I need to stop making excuses, and carve out more time to work on each of these things.

All this past month or so, a different kind of thought has been surfacing around me.

It manifests in different ways and places, but it means the same thing.

I simply MUST take more time to be quiet.

Remain still.

I don’t mean just idle, we all know how to do that.

What I mean is taking that time to quiet the noise inside, so that I can think more clearly.

If you know me, you know that I am a big proponent of “Quietude”, even to the point of making little YouTube spots to help in the process.

Truth time; For the past six months or so, I haven’t been making those spots, or even using them for what they are created for.

It happens.

Life takes a turn sometimes and gets crazy.

When the crazy comes to an end, it takes some time to get back to where we (read I) need to be so we can gain some strength back – mentally, physically or spiritually.  

Enter oversleeping, overeating, over social media-ing, binge watching TV.

This isn’t all bad; the trick is to know when that time is here to stop it, and then do something about it!

One of the ways that it is being made clear to me that it’s time is through a little daily devotion that I read.

Over the last little while, it keeps talking about time, and how it’s been difficult, busy, frustrating and somewhat stagnant.

It also has been encouraging in regards to priorities, entering a new phase of life, knowing I’m not the only one, and resisting the urge (or the habit) of staying hidden away.

These devotions have talked about the significant (I like that word!) changes that have taken place during this time; and now it is time to accomplish what these changes are bringing to pass.

Coming out of this place of retreat, can seem overwhelming.

The habits that help us to be calm, take time to bring to the surface again;

The New and Improved Model!

It seems slow, even one step ahead is always preferred.

But it all makes me want to run forward.

Then today two things came in front of me almost simultaneously;   

  • I heard a friend speak (on Facebook Live) that I hadn’t heard in a while. He was talking about “Zoning out”. His word for “Quietude”. And how he must do this every day, to quiet the noise, to turn off the world we live in, so he can think; the silence speaks volumes. The “Mind of Christ” becomes clearer to him at these times.
  • Today’s devotion was this; January 14, 2020:  Take a breath and settle down, says the Lord.  I know your sense of urgency and impatience to get a move on, but right now I need you to be tolerant and long-suffering.  Otherwise, you will remove yourself from the flow of divine destiny.  Keep yourself in My Spirit and take life as it comes with the grace I will provide.  Romans 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Oh my goodness.

Gently and kindly I’ve been being pushed in this direction – and then today……

It didn’t seem very gentle.

It seemed very firm and deliberate.

Listen up.

Take the time.

I used to teach people that even if you start with five minutes, it could help.

Then you can move the time out as your grow in strength.

But God can work with ANY time that we give Him.

How did this get left off of my priority list?

Well its back on there folks.

Beginning today!

“Quietude” first!

The results will be amazing!

I’ve experienced them before, those “Quietude” moments.

And look forward to enjoying them again!

Thanks for staying with me.

Until next time!

Friday Favorites – Mr. Rogers

As a early Christmas present, my original Grandson took me to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

What a delightful surprise!

I told him I would likely cry through the whole movie.

He told me that was OK, and every time I did, he reached out and held my hand.

As a young man in his first year of college, I am so proud that he isn’t afraid to let his love be shown in that way.

He tells me that he remembers watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood with me when he was very small.

I can only hope that some of those thoughts and ideas carried into his heart to this day. I believe they did.

He is all at once an excited, ambitious young man, but with a heart as tender as can be.

After seeing the movie, my love for the man, Mr. Fred Rogers, has been rekindled.

I have read more on him, watched more documentaries, and seen him on YouTube maybe more than I ever have.

I’ve had to ask myself the reason why, and the answer I think, has been cooking in my heart for quite some time.

This is turning into a post much different than when it began, but maybe while I continue to process, you can find something helpful for yourself as well.

Several years ago, I noted in myself a critical spirit.

Sometimes it was one that could be noted by anyone within earshot, but mostly, it was simply thinking and speaking the way the world thinks and speaks, perhaps not even perceived by them, since they did it as well.

Always having been the object of scorn growing up, I felt a serious need to fit in.

So any time I could comment – just comment – on someone else, I would do it, and I guess I thought it helped me to fit in.

What I know now, is that it was building up inside of me a critical spirit.

One that would not only harden my heart, take a whole lot of inner work to realize, and change.

Anyway, in literally EVERY piece of media I consumed about Fred Rogers, he was calling our and speaking to the weakest among us.

He was calling out to the social injustice he saw.

But most of all, he was telling all the “Less thans”, that they were “More than” they ever believed.

They were not defective, or broken, or unimportant, but that somewhere in them was a special strength and purpose given to them by their creator.

He so reminds me of my very favorite Bible verses –

Psalms 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them, the days that you formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

God knew about my every day, He knew who I was, and who I was to be; and to me, it seemed like maybe Mr. Rogers did too.

How can I not aspire to be more like that; seeing others the way God sees them.

After all – that is why I’m here!

It’s an inside job, difficult, but worth the work.

A softer, less critical spirit is easier for others to live with, and for myself as well.

Until next time – consider your own insides – Do what it takes.

I’ll see you next time around.


   

Movie Poster

Father's Love Letter

On this day, we celebrate the fact that our heavenly Father gave us His most precious gift;

His one and only son, Jesus Christ.

Here is reprint of a “Father’s Love Letter”

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. (Psalm 139:1)

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Psalm 139:2)

I am familiar with all your ways. (Psalm139:3)

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:29-31)

For you were made in my image. (Genesis 1:27)

In me you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:28)

For you are my offspring. (Acts 17:28)

I knew you before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12)

You were not a mistake. (Psalm 139:15-16)

For all your days are written in my book. (Psalm 139:15-16)

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you should live. (Acts 17:26)

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

I knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

And brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6)

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. (John 8:41-44)

I am not distant and angry, but the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16)

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1 John 3:1)

Simply because you are My child, and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1)

I offer you more than an earthly Father ever could. (Matthew 7:11)

For I am the perfect Father. (Matthew 5:48)

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. (James 1:17)

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33)

My plan for the future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Psalm 139:17-18)

And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I will never stop doing good to you. (32:40)

For you are My treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5)

I desire to establish you with all My heart and all My soul. (Jeremiah 32:40

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3)

If you seek Me with all your heart, you will find me. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

Delight in my and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

For it is I who gave you those desires. (Philippians 2:13)

I am able to do more for you than you can possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

For I am your greatest encourager. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. (Psalm 34:18)

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. (Isaiah 40:11)

One day I will wipe every tear from your eyes. (Revelation 21:3-4)

And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (Revelation 21:3-4)

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love My son, Jesus. (John 17:23)

For in Jesus, My love for you is revealed. (John 17:26)

He is the exact representation of My being. (Hebrews 1:3)

He came to demonstrate that I am for you and not against you. (Romans 8:31)

And to tell you I am not counting your sins. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

His death is the ultimate expression of My love for you. (1 John 4:10)

I gave up everything I loved that I may gain your love. (Romans 8:32)

If you receive the gift of My son Jesus, you receive Me. (1 John 2:23)

And nothing will ever separate you from My love again. (Romans 8:38-39)

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. (Luke 15:7)

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. (Ephesians 3:14-15)

My question is … Will you be my child? (John 1:12-13)

I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad

Almighty God

Day 3 – Jerusalem

On day three of our convocation, we heard again from Dan Juster, (http://www.kkcj.org/people/info/dan-juster), also from Aglow’s President and CEO Jane Hansen Hoyt (https://www.aglow.org/about-us/president-ceo).

During the time between sessions, we loaded on to a bus, and traveled to Revive Israel. (https://www.reviveisrael.org/ ).

To Revive Israel
A short walk down the hill to Revive Israel

Note: The rear view mirrors on the bus are on the front of the bus; and they’re still there!

We’re getting closer!

I’ve always wanted to go here; Finally!

Here We are!

At Revive Israel, we were able to worship together under the anointing of the house worship team.

Our Father, who art in Heaven…

At first blush, I was quite underwhelmed.

But as God often does, He shows Himself awesome in seemingly unassuming ways.

I found Revive Israel to me modest, and small, and FULL of God’s presence.

Through Revive Israel, we were introduced to Kite-pride. (https://www.israel21c.org/kite-pride-creates-jobs-for-ex-victims-of-the-sex-industry/)

We came away with our own Kite-pride bags – and the knowledge that someone formerly from the sex trades, is getting a start on a new life!

From Revive Israel

Come with me next time for Day #4’s adventure!

Day #2 Revisited – Exploring – Finding Food

“On this day, after the morning session, Frank and I went walking in the neighborhood around the Dan Hotel.

We shared a delightful lunch along the way; but I’ll share about that little jaunt later on in a different post.”

Well here is that post.

Each day we had some time in between Session 1 and Session 2, free time, to do whatever resting or exploring we wanted to do.

The first day, we took our bus ride back to the hotel for a nap.

Which turned out not to be as much of a nap, as a crash.

We had no idea just how tired we really were.

On day two, we decided on a walk around the neighborhood to find lunch.

We had our first encounter with falafel. Oh my goodness! It is served with your choice of sweet and savory additions, inside a pita pocket.

The place we first encountered this food, was no bigger than my living room; a place open to the street; charming.

We ate a lot of falafel while in Israel.

After eating, we went on a exploration through the neighborhoods around the Dan Jerusalem Hotel.

A very nice home

We wanted to wander a bit, and perhaps see a piece of everyday life in this place.

Many homes were surrounded by stone walls or ornate fences.

What we found, was that every street was different.

The unifying factor was the color of the stone. (referenced here; https://significantencounters.com/2019/09/27/day-2-jerusalem/)

Traffic on the edge of the neighborhood.

About a block before turning onto this busy street again, we passed a school.

The children, like children everywhere, playing outside for recess. (I took no photos, because, kids!)

The laughter of children, a language we understood, a language universal.

One of my favorite views!

A very small park in the midst of a stone and concrete neighborhood.

A breath of fresh air, and a glimpse of Jerusalem.

The neighborhood changes a bit.

On the way back; reminiscent of a small town factory district, but still, family dwellings.

Turning back toward the hotel.

Although our walk was short, the heat of the day was catching up, so we headed back.

We would see many more neighborhoods on our further travels during the week.

Best view from these windows!

It was a very different type of feeling walking through these places, knowing that we were actually IN JERUSALEM!

A place many want to go, and relatively few, get to experience.

Contrary to popular belief; Never, ever, did we feel unsafe.

Another lovely home.

In my childhood dreams, this would have been a palace.

I wonder how the inhabitants think of it.

Does it look like home to you?

Home at the end of our loop.

The last home before our return to the Dan.

Not sure if the bars are for protection, or simply ornamental. (Did I mention we always felt safe?)

A bright spot in all of the neutral color.

We made it back in time to catch the second bus, and a nap at our own hotel.

Join me next time for Day #3.

Day #2 – Jerusalem

Tuesday morning began with another trip to the Dan Jerusalem Hotel.

Our speaker was Dan Juster.

Dr. Juster’s resume is a long and full one. (http://www.kkcj.org/people/info/dan-juster) His overall focus has been the Messianic Jewish movement since 1972.

The morning drive began simply enough.

Our driver took us a different way than the freeway on this morning.

It was quite like the morning drive you might experience in the states.

Traffic builds.

It was neat to drive through some neighborhoods as the people began to go about their days.

Proof that people, are just people.

Students awaiting their time to cross.

I can’t say that I remember seeing a bus anywhere.

My thought was that these kids were all within walking distance of their schools.

I did not think to ask.

Back on the freeway.

There were to things that we all noticed about Jerusalem.

Construction. Everywhere.

And clogged up traffic because of the construction.

New construction abounds!

According to codes, all buildings must be built with the same color palette.

Due highly to the availability of stone resources.

If it was not built of local stone, it was built in concrete in the same color.

The effect of the color palette is striking!

Most of the building we saw, was up.

There did not seem to be much horizontal land available.

The joke was that the national bird, was the crane.

Cranes on the horizon.

Much of our morning drive was next to construction.

Traffic pushing through, next to enormous quarry like holes.Thes bus drivers – were simply masters at traversing it all.

We were quite surprised they had any mirrors left at all!

A pleasant site amidst the traffic.

It’s hard to imagine what the terrain must have been like when Jesus walked here.

Israel has done a fine job taking rough terrain, and making it into something beautiful.

So happy we had a bus and not just sandled feet for our journey.

Tunnels. Through solid rock.

How on earth do they do that?

On this day, after the morning session, Frank and I went walking in the neighborhood around the Dan Hotel.

We shared a delightful lunch along the way; but I’ll share about that little jaunt later on in a different post.

I hope you are enjoying your little arm chair tour.

I’ll see you next time for Day #3.