Tag Archive | rest

Midday Rain

There is nowhere on earth that hosts a thunderstorm the way the Mid West does.

This was by far not the worst storm we’ve seen,

But the clouds before it were pretty incredible.

The sound of rain, invites us to rest.

I invite you to join me.

Rest well.

 

The Invitation

*

I’ve been given an invitation.

It’s a special invitation.

It’s an invitation that fills my heart with joy.

It is an invitation to a secret place.

No.

 It is an invitation to a sacred place.

This invitation is from a dear friend.

She has invited me to join her in her secret place.

She has invited me to her sacred place.

The place where she meets with ……………..

God.

Alone.

The place where she encounters God.

 

What an honor and a blessing.

Her invitation is a reminder to me.

A reminder that my Dear Savior longs for me to come to that secret place with Him.

Reminds me that He is waiting in that sacred place.

Reminds me that He wants to have an encounter with me,

as much as I need an encounter with Him.

 

You Dear Reader,

If you don’t not have such a place,

A secret, sacred place of encounter with God,

I strongly urge you to get one.

Find one.

Make one.

 

Make a place where you can rest with your Savior.

A place where you can abide with Him.

A place where you can go daily.

Be it early before your day begins,

or late and at the end of your day.

It may even be when your children are napping.

 

No matter.

Just do it.

 

When you encounter Father God there,

even your problems will seem to have an air of grace in them.

 

Remember the line in “Field of Dreams”?

“If you build it, they will come.”

 

Well if you make this place for Him,

He will come.

 

My own secret place is not fancy.

This chair belonged to my Mother.

It is older than I.

It sits next to the window in my office.

It only has three legs with an empty can from some dark chocolate

rolled wafer sticks serving as its fourth .

 

When I place myself in that seat,

even for a few moments.

He comes.

We encounter each other,

and joy fills my heart.

 

If you make  it,

He will come.

I promise.

—————

Fearfully and wonderfully made

*

Everything

I’ve been struggling lately.

Maybe you have been too?

In the past, my home has been my refuge.

Home is a place where I can spend time studying the Word of God.

Learning in depth what God did for me when He sent His Son Jesus.

 

But that is not the struggle.

The struggle is that after all that time of quiet with my Heavenly Father,

It is time for me to share what I have learned.

I cannot count the number of times I have had this sense,

I’ve gone out to share Him.

I have shared Him well.

Then I find myself back at home,

Longing to not ever go out again.

 

I have compared myself to David of old.

He consistently hid himself in caves against his pursuers.

(Not that I’m being pursued, but I do enjoy my cave!)

David did however exit the caves to extinguish attacks from his enemies.

Not all his business was pleasant either.

 

Mostly he had to leave to take out some enemy that was trying to conquer what was not theirs.

I believe the comparison is that I need to leave when it is necessary.

Cave dwelling is for regaining strength, renewing energy, and receiving new instruction.

 

I do not enjoy crowds of people.

Un-purposeful milling about is maddening.

The confusion of a crowd makes me want to run and hide.

 

I did realize something though at our towns 4th of July celebration.

It’s been rolling around in my heart and mind for quite some time,

But it seemed to come into focus better than ever before.

Not pleasant, but clear.

 

Here were crowds of people, milling about, a crowd confused by everyone’s actions being different than the one next to him.

In truth, I have seen crowds much worse with the milling and the confusion, in the interest of full disclosure, that had to be stated here.

The heat was definitely a factor, I am quite sure it amplified everything.

 

Anyway…. I found out the reason I want to run and hide.

 

When I am in my cave, with God, and it is quiet,

I find that He gives me everything I need.

If I take time with Him each day,

I receive what I need for that day.

I have little need for the trappings of the world.

Having them is fine, but not mandatory.

My requirement list is pretty small.

 

In that time, God grants me a measure of His peace, that I can store up, and when necessary, carry out to the crowds,

 

Returning to re-fill.

 

What I saw clearly was a very lot of regular people, doing lots of things to bring them that peace.

Loud talking, boasting, swearing, drinking, smoking, flirting, fighting, showing far more skin than   I wanted my grand children to see, and a lot of PDF’s.  (Public displays of affection)

 

All these things bring a moments worth of gratification, but no real peace.

The gratification is fleeting, and the peace, non-existent.

 

For these reasons, I never want to leave my cave.

For these reasons, I NEED to leave my cave.

 

I am not condemning any of these people.

I am not perfect.

And sometimes,

To my dismay,

Especially when it’s hot,

I. Am. Not. Nice.

 

But I need to BE nice, and let people see that there is another way.

That true peace can be had.

 

That every single thing they need can be supplied.

That God WANTS to supply their needs.

Not necessarily their STUFF needs,

 

But their heart needs,

Their PEACE needs.

Only in Him can that be found.

 

Only by Christians that do not hide in caves can it be shared with them.

 

Enjoy the following song by Lifehouse.

 

It is absolutely true~

You cannot stand in His Presence and not be moved by Him.

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjDojEOiMcE

 

And remember ~ You are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Constant Battle. Regarding Restfulness.

It is a constant battle to be quiet.

A constant battle to be restful.

To hear the “Still small voice” of the Holy Spirit.

Each nerve, each cell, each synapse firing.

For more information, more knowledge,  more of anything but peace.

They twitch and scream for attention.

They demand more, more, more.

While my spirit longs for only what God can give.

Each jolt of my nerves takes me farther away.

Sitting in quietness appears to be counterproductive to my natural man.

The world we live in cajoles us into the belief that stillness is not beneficial or constructive.

After beginning this post, I read a post by Seth Godin called

“Ranking for Signal to Noise Ratio” 

posted to Facebook  on the 22 of May.

The timing could not have been better.

Seth’s main point was that in a quiet place,

the noise does not have to be big to be heard. 

In a noisy place like a night club,

no matter how loud you talk,

it is difficult to be heard.

Reminds me of my “Quiet time”.

Frequently, it may take a half an hour or more to silence all the noise,

to still all the synapses.

Even more frequently, I find myself not taking that time.  

I have so much to do!

Like email, Facebook, Pinterest!

Ouch!  It hurts to admit that!

The list on my desk grows while I spend my time zoning out on “important stuff”.

More often than not,

I must MAKE myself be really intentional about turning it all off.

I suspect that you may see yourself here as well.

As the roar of the World Wide Web grows larger every day,

my intent to hear the “Still small voice” of God must grow as well.

Truth?  I’ve heard it all before.  So have you.  It’s all just part of the noise!

But there is truth that is even bigger, with a “smaller” voice.

Here is what it says;

9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of Jehovah came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

10 And he said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword: and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before Jehovah. And, behold, Jehovah passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before Jehovah; but Jehovah was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but Jehovah was not in the earthquake:

12 and after the earthquake a fire; but Jehovah was not in the fire:

and AFTER the fire a still small voice.

13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

14 And he said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

1 Kings 19:9-14

 

You see how Elijah was jealous for Jehovah the God of hosts?

Read how God was not in the tumult of earth, wind and fire, all synapses firing.

These things sought Elijah’s very life.

God was in the still small voice AFTER the fire.

Then we read again that Elijah was jealous for Jehovah God,

and was sad that all the others had forsaken Him for all the noise. 

They had made all that was in front of them in the noise, their god.

Join me won’t you?

Let us set our intent to be jealous for our Jehovah God.

Let Him be our delight, our highest joy, and our greatest pleasure.

 

You will show me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

*

Just Show Up

A while back, one of our pastors told us that if we did not have a time and a place to meet God, the chances of actually doing it were slim.

I had to agree with him wholeheartedly.

I had established a time and a place,

and meeting God there was on some days the only place I wanted to be.

This intentionality caused my heart to yearn for Him even more.

The more I knew Him, the more I wanted to know Him.

This is still true today.

In fact, many of my Significant Encounters happen in this very place..

What I’ve learned is that when I put myself into the position to find Him,

suddenly, I see Him.                       

Not with my eyes, but with the peace of Him that settles in my heart.

Whatever might happen the rest of the day,

is not as likely to ruffle me as much as if I haven’t spoken to God first.

Note, I said spoken to God?

Well, know that some days I say not one word.

Some days I read my Bible.

Most days I write in my journal.

Somedays I read an inspirational or instructional book.

I even have a little devotional that I like to peruse.

Whatever I sense that is right for the day.

Sometimes it’s an hour or more.

Some days it’s ten minutes.

Long ago, Tommy Barnett taught us that you should “Read until you burn”.

What he meant was simply to stay in that place until you sense His burning in your heart.

In my case, I sense His pleasure with our time together.

There are no set of defined rules.

If there were, these times would grow flat and boring very quickly.

But a time and a place?

Any time best for you.

Any place you can be undisturbed.

What a difference this makes.

Psalm 27:8 (NASB)

When You said, “ Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD,

I shall I seek”.

Then really, all you have to do is show up!

Do you have a time and a place?

Care to share?

Rocking Chairs and Tornadoes

 

With all the news as of late about natural disasters, it is really difficult to

“Be not afraid.” or “Fear not.”

Some events in our lives may make us feel like we are in those disasters,

even though physically, we may not be.

You know what I mean don’t you?

Are there things going on in your life that have the potential to

strike sorrow and fear into you?

If we compared these disasters, what would we find they have in common?

 I never gave this question much thought until I heard Nate Berkus recount his experience  of being swept away in a tsunami.                       

In the water with him were telephone poles, barbed wire, parts of trees and people’s homes …. and people.                                                   

All these things were swirling around him and beating his body, all the while he was fighting for his very life.

Is that how you feel right now?

 

        Is the debris of your life beating you while you are struggling to keep                              

your head above it all?

Are sorrow and fear and loss threatening to engulf you?

Do your circumstances feel like they are beating the life out of you?

   Consider this picture.

 

Your life is the tornado.

Debris is flying everywhere and the mayhem of it all is causing you mass confusion.

You are swirling around with this mess and there is no exit.

This is not too much of a stretch, if you are like many of the people you know.

The fact is, you may recognize some of those folks in the havoc, right along with you!

 

              Now push the pause button, and consider a different picture.

                      

The tornado is still there.

The debris is still flying and the mayhem is still circling you.

HOWEVER

 

The difference is that YOU aren’t anywhere to be found in the mass confusion.

YOU are firmly planted in the middle of the eye of that storm.

YOU are seated in a rocking chair.

                                                 What does that mean?????

Firmly seated in a rocking chair, in the eye of the storm?

 

The peace of your Father God is planted deeply in your heart.

 

YOUR heart is full of the knowledge that He is aware and in total control.

To be sure, there still may be sorrow and loss, but YOU do not have to live with fear.

 

How do I know this?

First off, I’ve had my fair share of living in fear. 

Secondly, the Word of God plainly states that if you know Him,

If you receive what His Son Jesus did for you on the cross,

then you need not be afraid.

(If you do not have the assurance of Jesus’ saving grace,

then please visit the “Rescue” page on this blog.)

I believe the word of God to be true. 

Every word.

So when He says not to be afraid (found over 80 times) in the Bible,

I choose to obey.

Notice I said “choose”.  Being afraid is not a sin.  

What you do with it could be.

You get to make that choice.

The only thing you are to fear is God.

That is a different fear.

Not spooky, creepy fear,

but a fear that is defined as being in awe of Him.

 

Here’s the ask.  For today. 

Use the following verses in your circumstances.  Today.

We can truly only do it for today.

Choose to let God be in control of your chaos.  Today.

Choose to sit in that rocking chair and relax while He takes on everything

that would set your heart to fear.  Today.

This is not an easy task.  The world we live in caters to fear.  Its goal is to make us afraid.

Just look at the nightly news.  (No wait, maybe you shouldn’t)

At any rate, giving your fear to God will get easier with practice.

Note: Remember ~ Doctors practice.  Lawyers practice. Athletes practice.

Why do they do so?  To get better at what they do.

I encourage you to practice not being afraid,

to sit and rest on your rocker, while God handles things.

 

Psalm 34:9  (NIV) Fear the LORD; you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.

 Lamentations 3:57  (NIV) You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

Isaiah 41:10  (NIV) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (AMP)  Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Repitition

One of my favorite songs is “Jesus You’re Beautiful” by Jon Thurlow from Kansas City House of Prayer.

Near the end of the song there is one phrase that he keeps repeating and repeating.

Sometimes repeating is good.  (Just not at two a.m. when you’re trying to sleep, as this song has a pretty ambitious tempo)

Repetition helps us to remember.

“I know the end of the story; I come up from the wilderness, leaning on my Beloved.”

“I know the end of the story; I come up from the wilderness, leaning on my Beloved.”

“I know the end of the story; I come up from the wilderness, leaning on my Beloved.”

The other day a girlfriend and I had this same song going through our heads at the same time.  We neither one believe things like this are coincidence, so of course we had to discuss this.  What was it that God wanted us to hear at that time?  What did He want us to glen from this “Coincidence”?

The best way to describe our findings would be to answer the who, what, where, when and why questions.

Who?  It is obvious he is singing about us.

What?  Leaning on our Beloved.

Where?  Coming up from the wilderness

When?  After a distressing time.

Why?  We will have confidence at the end of the story.

It has been my experience, that distressing times WILL come.  It’s not a matter of “If”.  It’s more a matter of “when”.

During these times, I believe that if we don’t “lean on our Beloved”, then the weight of these distressing things will level us.

Our Beloved, Jesus, the Lover of our souls, waits for us to lean on Him.

His desire is for us.

His desire is to bear our burdens for us.

His desire is to be our support, and our safeguard.

If Jesus is not yet your “Beloved”,

Then won’t you visit the “Rescue” page of this blog?

You can begin “Leaning” today.