Tag Archive | Voice

Are You Hearing Voices?

I’ve gotten out of the habit of hearing His voice.

I have some questions here;

First of all – Who is “He”?

Nehemiah 9:6 from the Holy Bible says this; “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

If that’s the case, and I believe it is, then that is a voice I really want to hear!

Why do I want to hear His voice?

Beginning to hearing His voice, for me anyway, began with an intense longing inside of me to find out what more there could possibly be to my life.

You know, the life that goes through the same cycles of disbelief, low self esteem, caring so much what others think, at my own expense.

Expensive, because the voices I was hearing were telling me just how worthless I was. I had a longing to hear just one good thing about myself that I could hang my hat on. Something I could believe and hold on to.

That longing wanted to know who I was; all the while knowing that I could believe a lie, just as easily as I could believe the truth.

To avoid the lie, I had to find the right voice. There are cacophonies of voices out there just trying to be heard. Which one is the right one?

I believe it’s the maker of heaven and earth!

How do you hear His voice in the first place?

In order to sort through that longing, there has to be quiet.

Now MY quiet, will likely be different than yours.

When I want to get to this place of hearing, I require three things.

  1. Absolute quiet.
  2. My Bible.  
  3. A pad of paper and a writing utensil.

The absolute quiet is to get my mind off of everything that distracts. Even lovely music can be distracting. (I’m finding that now even while writing this)

I need my Bible. It has a great concordance (an alphabetical list of the words present in a text, usually with citations of the passages concerned.) in the back, so I can look up scripture by words or topics. I can search out any topic that is on my heart.

Then I can meditate on this word.

This meditation is not the same as emptying the space between my ears. Instead, it fills up all the empty space inside, by telling me the truth; about me, about God, about my life; past, present and future.

The pad of paper? My brain is notorious for running me off in a different direction while I’m trying to concentrate on being quiet. Anything that pops into my head and interrupts gets written down.

It’s safe on that paper, I won’t forget. I’ll pick it up later.

It’s calming, when you know you won’t forget every little nuance at it passes by your brain.

How do you continue to hear His voice?

I hear his voice by being quiet enough to let the words I’ve read roll around in my heart and mind.

I let them roll until they make sense. Until they become real to me.

I really dislike the way the word meditation is used in some forums. I’m speaking of the meditation on God’s word, and what it means to me. Not meditation that is emptying my mind. That is a whole different thing.

Instead, I prefer a meditation that asks; What do these words say? What do they mean to me? How can I put them into practice?

Once you have hear His voice, you will recognize it when you hear it again. John 10:27 says clearly; My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Wow. He knows me – I want to know His voice!

How do you get back to it again after being away?

The dangerous part is in the drifting away. You release the habit for a day, and then a week, and then a month. No big, drastic changes.

You still hear His voice. But here’s the catch; after a month, the voice gets quieter, and you realize (maybe) that you have been going on memory, and that you haven’t “heard” anything new for quite some time.

Memory, like muscles, can get flat after periods of not being used.

Notice, the first thing I said was that it is a habit. It is most definitely a habit.

The first step to take is to get back to your DAILY reading. It need not be chapter upon chapter. Just a few paragraphs maybe.

We used to have a pastor who told us to “Read till you burn.” That sounds funny coming from a pastor, whose job is to insure that you don’t burn 🙂

But what he was trying to tell us, was that we needed to read the word until something came alive in our heart; until our heart caught that spark.

When that happens – You’re hearing God’s voice. He is speaking to you.

I’ve read the same thing several times over my lifetime, and then one time I will read it, and it is like the words jumped right off the page.

They bring something to life in me. They spark a realization in me about _________________! Whatever it is I’m reading about.

When I begin to roll those verses around in my heart and mind, they become a part of me. My soul and my spirit; my insides; are renewed. I can see an action that needs to be taken, or a mind set that needs to be tweeked.

James 1:22-25 (ICB) says this; Do what God’s teaching says; do not just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves. A person who hears God’s teaching and does nothing is like a man looking in a mirror. He sees his face, then goes away and quickly forgets what he looked like. But the truly happy person is the one who carefully studies God’s perfect law that makes people free. He continues to study it. He listens to God’s teaching and does not forget what he heard. Then he obeys what God’s teaching says. When he does this, it makes him happy.

This quiet time, this hearing His voice; it gives me peace, and it carries with me throughout my days.

It makes it so that even the harshest of circumstances can be faced with some sort of calm, peace and joy.

#100 Somethings

A friend of mine began a new challenge this month. It’s called #100DayProject.

I told her that I didn’t think I could do 100 days of anything. She told me to remember that it is not necessary to check in every day.

Her recommendation was to just do 100 of anything.

So here’s what I decided.

I will attempt #100DaysofSomething – Translated, that means I’ve begun a list of 100 topics to write a blog posts about.

Today I reached #13.

Whenever I use one of them for a post, I’ll tag them with #100DaysofSomething.

Do you have anything you would like to add to the list?

This challenge is truly a challenge for me. I am pretty tenacious about the things that I do, but still seem to have consistency issues with posting.

I’m believing this can be part of the remedy.

Care to add an idea?

Ready? Go!

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.

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.

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The Value of Quiet

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As much as Time as I spend thinking about and talking about the value of quiet time, I have realized that recently, circumstances, or at least my view of them, have kept me from that much needed space of quiet.

Experience has shown me that if I stay away from practicing quietude for too long, it is increasingly difficult to get back into it. Only over time does the value of it begin to appear evident again.

Without quiet, and by that I mean quality quiet, there is just no space for new thoughts, or old thoughts, and sometimes for any thoughts. A classic over thinker, my husband is curious how one can go without thinking.

Not thinking, can be restful, but over time, it becomes a trap. Not thinking, muddles our minds over time. The trap is like serious brain fog for the thinking that we should be doing.

Last week I had to make a quality decision. That decision was not to ignore my quiet time for any reason; real or imagined. My mind, needs some serious un-muddling.

Until today, the thoughts have not been filing in very quickly. Today was a breakthrough day.

For my next post I’ll share some of those thoughts, but for this one, I’d like to ask you a question, or four, about yourself.

  • Over thinker or under thinker?
  • Do you know how much quiet time do YOU require?
  • Do you allow yourself that bit of quiet to sort things out?
  • What happens when you do/don’t?

I’d love to hear your reply. Please leave your answers in the comments.

Until next time – catch up on some Quietude.

 

 

 

 

Take a Chance

I’ve been reading lately about how to make this blog a better place to visit.

My first thought, long ago, was to tell my personal story, then use it to help some to crawl out of the pit that they, or someone else, dug for them.

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I have for many years, off and on, written random and not so random things in journals. I’ve kept them all, even shared bits and pieces of them, in an attempt to help others.

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From there I went on to showing people the value of some quiet in their life, and hopefully, helping them to create some for their own.

Next came the photographs that I so love to take.

Some have been made into my little films, calendars, puzzles and coffee table books.

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Now I’m even thinking of, gulp, my religious and political leanings.

I must say, I hate confrontation of any kind.  (Confrontation there would most likely be!)

The prolonged temper tantrum I see all around makes me angry, and quite frankly, sick to my stomach. This is not to mention that it intimidates me a lot.

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What do I do?

What would You do?

What would you like to see here?

What would make you want to come back?

I’ve been a blogger off and on since 2008.  I’m still not happy with where I am, but I am also not compelled to quit.

All the years of processing cannot be for nothing. Can I ask? Where have your processes taken you? Would you care to share in the comments?

There. It’s out there. My fears. My questions.

Do I pick just one topic, hope for the best, and stay comfy and safe?

Can comfy and safe really change the world?

 

 

 

A Bump in the Road

This week heavily on my mind, is the fact that I have made some decisions, or a least I thought I made some decisions.

Decisions that pertain to the things I want to share, here, and anywhere else I’d like to share it.

I find myself out here again, on a bumpy road. Trying to traverse the landscape with a minimum of bumpage. My husband is mortified when I make up words, but bumpage is a good one right? I’m positive you know what I mean.

You’re moving right along, everything lined up straight, and BAM! A cloud of confusion, or a bank of brain fog, too many ideas to count all descend on you at once, or none at all. It’s a moment when you realize that the decision(s) you made made not be as clear as you thought they were. Without a clear purpose, without a clear focus, moving forward is depressingly difficult.

I’m not sure what I can figure it all out here, but allow me to use this space to look back and see how I got here, so that I can figure out, again, which way to go to get around these bumps.

My husband and I discuss often, the fact that in the age we live in, we have taught our children WHAT to think, and not HOW to think. When I was raised, I have no clear recollection of either. I remember in school, finishing my work, and then wandering around the classroom, disturbing the other kids. Instead of training me to THINK of something else to do, I would get whatever the punishment of the day was, and a lot of cross words about how I would never amount to much.

So suffice to say, it is no big surprise that the “Soundtrack of my life” was full of confusion and fog and a cacophony of noises.  When you receive these messages day in and day out, you begin to believe them

I remember always thinking, “I’m going to do this.” I’m going to do that.” All the while doing nothing because I did not know how to sort those thoughts out, or how to put them all together to make sense.

Several years back, every time I heard “I’m going to do this.” in my head, then right after that, I would hear “just stop talking about it and do it.” I began to discern the difference between saying and doing. It sounds simple enough, but let’s face it, when you weren’t taught to think, it is a difficult task.

Sorting those things out fell into a few different categories;

  • What people had said to/about me
    • What I thought about me
  • What people had done to me
    • What I thought because people did what people do
  • Is it possible to change these things?
  • Finally, what did God think of me?
    • How was I created by Him to be?

As you might imagine, these things took some doing to over come. It took a great deal of introspection, and internal dialogue. Separating the negative dialogue from the positive. Changing that “Soundtrack” to something that I could really live with, and then, begin to help others to walk the same way.

It is something that needs to be revisited from time to time. I’m fairly certain that it’s that time again for me.

Bumps in the road are inevitable.

How we navigate them determines our success or failure.

If you have read this far, then I imagine that this is something that plagues your mind as well.

Might I suggest, that you take just a few moments for yourself. To be quiet. To begin to sort all that has been stored inside of you for so long? I know that my “Quietude” lately has been must less than what I require. So it is time to begin again.

Quieting the heart that beats inside of us, is the best place to start.

I’ve left a video here to get you started.

I would love to hear your comments, and any other ideas that have helped you to become clear and focused. We’ll have some here on this blog, and help each other out.

How about it? You in?