Tag Archive | Life

How Long Will I be Haunted?

It is concert season.

Orchestra and band concerts.

Chorus concerts of every ilk.

Solos and group performances.

All concerts. All the time.

So many that they often run together.

The thing that makes them special is WHO is performing.

In my case, all seven of my grandchildren love music of some sort.

They know that when they look out, they will see their Gramma and Grampa there.

A few weeks back, at one of the many concerts we attended, I heard a song that haunts me still.

I had never heard it before, so when I got home I looked it up.

It turns out it came from ‘Les Miserables; which I have never seen. (I know, I know)

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.

The song about a group of friends that sit at a corner table, and consider their futures. There is talk of a revolution and a new born world.

As I said, I never saw the show, so I don’t know why, but their future never came.

Unfathomable grief, when he lives, but his friends die.

So what is it that haunted me?

Well the survivors grief of course; the remembering of a future now, suddenly, gone.

But perhaps even more than that, for me, is the realization of how much time that can be wasted.

How many ideas and dreams I can talk myself out of.

I can’t. I won’t. I don’t want to. I’m too tired. I too something…..

It has spurred me on a bit.

To not let those ideas and dreams in my head go to waste.

Many times, I have missed a window. A time made expressly for one certain thing.

Fortunately, my dreamer friends are still alive and in tact, and we encourage each other whenever possible.

But tomorrow, as the song tells us, is not promised to any one.

So we need to stay awake. Stay on task. Consider the future, and run toward it.

Survivors grief would be horrible for certain, but can you imagine how much worse it would be if you had not really lived your life?

If you have not pursued your dreams?

If you survive, then don’t waste the sacrifice of those that went before.

They helped create your ideas. They even helped you dream your dreams.

Continue to carry the flame, even if you’re wanting to give up.

The Down Side of Quiet

If you have been visiting here for long, you may know that one of my favorite topics is Quietude. Quiet. A little time for gathering the thoughts.

Even though this article is about noise, silence was mentioned as well. I thought this author had some interesting perspectives, pro and con.

I enjoyed the pros, of course.

I hope you enjoy reading it too.

Noise Cancelling: The Good and The Bad

Noise cancelling has it’s benefits and draw backs. We have to make sure we tune out the right things so we can best hear God’s voice.

Noise Cancelling
I travel a good bit these days, and spend a decent amount of time on airplanes.  Over the years, people have become more and more comfortable listening to anything and everything to block out the noise of the airplane, announcements being made, or crying babies.  Companies (BOSE, Beats, etc) have become better at creating headphones that can block out all noise around you so you only hear what you decide to listen to. And this doesn’t just apply to airplanes. People use these to focus at work or simply walk around outside.

People spend a lot of money on these headphones to accomplish one simple goal: block out distractions and noise. We want to have control over what we listen to or don’t listen to.

The Downside to Noise Cancelling

Airplanes:  If you can’t hear anything that means you cant hear any important announcements (safety, or emergency notifications).

Jogging/Running:  If you are completely blocked out from noise, a car could honk its horn at you, or someone could try and warn you about something around you, and you may not hear the warning signals.

The Lesson

Sometimes we decide that we know better than God does about what we should be listening to.  God gives us warning signs or direction through many different mediums throughout our lives.  If we don’t allow God to speak to us through a specific channel we are only hurting ourselves.  Using an extreme example, if you decide to block yourself off from anyone who isn’t a Christian in an effort to protect yourself and not be tempted, you are not abiding by God’s greatest commandment to “Go out and made disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20)  While we have protected ourselves from the “noise” around us, we have limited God’s ability to work through us.

Related Post: God is Calling Us All to Listen

I would encourage you to ask God to speak to you. Start to listen to His voice everywhere you go.  God can speak through anyone or anything.  Don’t block Him out.

The Positive About Noise Cancelling

With that said, there are times that silence is important and being able to cancel out distractions can be helpful.

Basketball Players:  If you’ve ever watched a Duke basketball home game, the fans do everything in their power to distract the other team and make them mess up or miss a shot.  Players on the floor have to find a way to block it out and perform to help their team.

Football Huddles:  Or think about a football team in a huddle.  The purpose of the huddle is to block out noise and allow everyone to understand the next play’s plan.

Airplanes:  Sticking with this analogy from before, think about the pilots of the airplane.  They can’t be distracted by the passengers.  Their job with all the noise going on around them is to get everyone to the destination safely.  They actually wear headphones to talk with each other and block out the actual noise around them.

The Lesson:

Christianity is similar in that there are times you need to clearly hear God’s voice and not be distracted by the enemy who is doing everything in his power to knock you off track.  I grew up with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) so I understood at a young age how the smallest of distractions could affect me.  I had to learn how to block them out.

When I want to hear from God, I need silence or an environment where God is welcome (worship, church, etc).  God doesn’t need complete silence to be able to speak to you, but sometimes you need complete silence to listen.

In those times, cancelling out your surrounding is a good idea.  After getting alone away from distractions, though, we should come back to full awareness of our surroundings so we can see and hear God move. Ultimately, it’s about doing what’s needed to be able to hear from God. We block out the distractions but lean in to listen to Him however, whenever, and wherever He chooses to speak to us.

So noise cancelling can be both good and bad. In the end, don’t block out God or limit His ability to use you or speak to you by attempting to block out others.

Written by Charles Hamrick

I am very simply a follower of Christ.  While here, I enjoy the passions that God has given me that include my family, friends, church, sports (specializing in golf), traveling and simply experiencing God’s creation to the fullest.  I additionally have a passion for writing and sharing what God is speaking to me on a constant basis.  I love the fact that our creator chooses to use the least of us to communicate His heart to others.

Whisper

The world we live in, will not just give us a quiet place.

We must find it, or create if for ourselves.

So if that is what you need, I’d like to help you with that.

A tiny slice of quiet time, just for you.

Any time, day or night. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.

 

 

 

 

Quiet Time Musings

This week has been a breakthrough week in my mind.

Making a quality decision  to not ignore quiet time, and to put that time to better use.

By putting it to better use in this instance means to to use that time to create my own thoughts, consider my own beliefs, understand what things I think and why.

I can always find time to read someone elses words. I’m not saying that that is wrong, certainly not, because it does help to create questions for further thinking in my mind. I’m only saying that I need to find out what I, myself think about things.

One of my favorite/best ways to get my thinking to get moving, is to read scripture. It creates many questions, and answers many as well.

The place I landed in my thinking was about space. Quiet space. Loud space. Crampy space. Spacious space.

I then looked up my favorite verses about space, and realized yet again, why I love living where I live.

I grew up in a larger city forty miles north of here. Houses. Streets. Voices. Traffic.

White houses out my window in rows. Utility poles breaking every small stretch of sky.

Someone elses noise always, always, always filling my head.

Some people, and their different personalities, thrive on just such environments. I however did not. I always wanted to be out. Some place green. Some place that I didn’t feel smothered.

My Grampas’ house was like that, but as a child, not very accessible.

Psalm 31:8b (ESV) You have set my feet in a broad place.

Then we moved here. My children called it Podunk. It isn’t really. Podunk, to me, would be much further than the few miles we travel from here to get to town.

Psalm 18:19 (ESV) He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued  me, because he delighted in me.

It is close enough to be close, and far enough to be far. Away from the hum of the city.

I knew I always wanted to be where I didn’t see only rows of white houses, and poles scratching at the sky. I just did not know how much. Nowadays, a trip to town quickly makes me want to return home.

It was very difficult to find quiet space back then, and it often involved a camping trip, or a car ride to a empty country road. Not impossible, but often difficult.

I am positive that living here, has saved my sanity. I have now spent almost exactly half of my life here; and I’m grateful. I am grateful for the overstuffed chair, that sits by the window, and looks out over a really broad space.

2 Corinthians 9:15 (ESV) Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Maybe to you this does not sound like a gift; Your personality prefers the hum of activity.

Psalms 139:13 -14a For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

(He knows how He made you – He will show you another way)
Maybe you are here just wondering when your gift will arrive; You’ve been waiting and praying.

Matthew 6:8…. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

(Hang on!)

Questions to consider;

  • Does my quiet time require total silence, or maybe some music or other ambient noise?
  • Do I require quiet EVERY day? Every week? More than once a day?
  • Does my quiet time involve time together, alone, with someone else?
  • Does it contain devotions? Book reading? Bible reading? Audio reading? A quiet video? Or just staring out the window – at my street, or at my space?
  • Does my quiet time release me from the stress and pressure of the daily grind?

Please feel free to leave a response in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Enjoy some quiet. It’s Under the Hill.

29jan2017

 

 

 

 

 

Snippets; When Will You …

2019-02-19 11.29.59-1

It’s so much easier to read about, study, and talk about writing than it is to actually sit down to write.

Snippets; When Will You Ever … really write?

I know I’m supposed to write. And write. And write. I know it in my bones. And yet; I don’t write nearly as much as I should.

It’s so much easier arranging and rearranging my office, my stacks and my document files, to write, than actually to write the ding dang documents.

The thoughts, or at least the concepts, are flying through my head at great speed. I sit to type, or write it on the page, and just as quickly it flies away.

I take notes; Snippets on napkins, snippets on my phone, snippets on postie notes. Snippets in my pockets, and even snippets written sometimes on my palms.

To no avail. They are just snippets. Except like at this moment, telling myself, and you all the reasons why I can’t get it done.

Now as I’m typing this, I am wondering if my issue is because of the depth I would like to reach in my writings.

Living it was difficult, analyzing, and processing was almost more difficult.

Truthfully, I may not be really sure just how to get that deep again.

Is re-visiting the pain necessary? After all, it is gone.

Do I have to feel it all over again? Maybe trying to remember it again in so much detail is what is slowing me down.

What do I have to share that can best help you, the reader, in the way that you need helped?

Clarity is on the way. I know it. Perhaps you can help me by letting me know how I can share with you in a meaningful way.

Long, short, I believe I didn’t just walk through my life, and learn what I learned for my own benefit, but for yours as well.

And just so you know, in the mean time, I’m saving all of those snippets!

Quietude – Gray Days – Deja Vu

About a year ago, I posted this video.  The days were gray.

The days are gray now as well. This year the gray days are prolonged.

Just enough teasing sunshine in between to make the gray days even more miserable.

If you let them.

I’ve found though, that joy and peace can be found in those days, regardless.

It is by choice. Sometimes over and over.

So it is my hope that this little video will help you find some joy and even peace in your day.

Just remember, Spring IS on the way.

But wait! Before you go – What is it that makes your Gray Days bearable? A good book? A cup of  something warm? A snugly blanket? A gathering of friends? What?

Use the comment section to let us know.

Here We Go Again

This tiny video might not look like much

But please, let me tell you why I left it here.

You may have heard of 2019’s polar vortex?

Well, here in the mid-west, we appear to be right in the middle of it.

I’ll bet we’ve have had more snow in the last month, than in the previous ten years.

Snow is one thing. But then there’s the ice. Hidden discreetly underneath that beautiful layer of snow.

Here is what happened yesterday;

I went out to shovel an inch or two of fluffy snow off the drive. (It’s a long drive with quite a bit of slope)

Shoveling along, and forgetting there were long patches of ice on one side. (At the top)

Boom. Flat on my back. Standing up was a trick, because it was solid ice, and about a half an inch thick!

I finally got back up, determined I was unhurt, and proceeded shoveling where I knew there was no ice.

When suddenly, Boom. Down to my knees. (Half way down the slope) This time I couldn’t get up, so I had to slide further DOWN the hill, so that I could find a not icy spot to get UP the hill! (Glad we live where we do so I didn’t have an audience!)

You know, sometimes, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. So laugh I did. And I quit shoveling for the day.

Now my husband, who hates snow, and just had shoulder surgery, thought it was all pretty funny.

Here’s what HE did;

He replied on Facebook to our daughters post talking about how thick the ice in her drive was. She was talking about wanting to make “snow angels”, he told that I was in the drive making “snow angels” of my own.

My reply to that was that it was more like “snow sprawl” and “snow crawl”.

This quickly de-generated into a much less flattering comment from him. Some about doing the “croppie floppie”. Oh. Brother.

Can I say that even for someone who loves snow as much as I do, that I am done.

Well done.

ANother batch of undetermined size is just beginning here now.

Complaining about it of course won’t help.

And if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.