Be Still

Today is Thursday, January 28, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 22,967

Today, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, “arguably the greatest intellect in the history of the Catholic Church.”

This evening, after work, I have my next therapy session. It is scheduled for 6:00 PM, and will be “telehealth,” so I will be sitting comfortably right where I am as I type this, in my study/studio.

I got the newly released book by Eugene Peterson on Tuesday, and decided, yesterday, to interrupt the book I was currently reading to go ahead a read it. It is called This Hallelujah Banquet: How the End of What We Were Reveals Who We Can Be. It is a compilation of a sermon series that Eugene preached in the eighties at Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. The subject is the book of Revelation, but it appears that it only goes through the seven letters and the last couple of chapters. I just finished the first chapter, yesterday, and it is very good, so far.


You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)

“The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the LORD. They will sing, ‘Give thanks to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, for the LORD is good. His faithful love endures forever!’ For I will restore the prosperity of this land to what it was in the past, says the LORD.”
(Jeremiah 33:11 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

  • For the prayer in Psalm 25, asking You to show me Your way and teach me Your path
  • That I am salt and light; help me to not cover up that light
  • That You restore my soul, daily
  • That Your Word will never fail
  • For the glory of Your Name; may I display that in my life today

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year



Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
(Psalms 115:1 NIV)


Of David.

In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.

I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.

Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, LORD, are good.
(Psalms 25:1-7 NIV)


“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:13-16 NIV)


Psalm 25:4 has been one of my memory verses. I memorized in ESV.

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
(Psalms 25:4 ESV)

But this whole passage is a great prayer to pray back to our Father. I also like praying verse 6.

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
(Psalms 25:5 ESV)

In the Matthew passage, continuing the Sermon on the Mount, I find reason for anxiety. Whenever I read that first bit, I worry that my saltiness is lost. But then, I suppose, perhaps it is not, as I am still here, still doing things, hopefully for the Lord.

And as for the light . . . if you cover up a light, and in that day, all lights were a flame of some kind, right? If you cover up that light, it will, eventually go out. If you put a bowl over a candle, it will soon go out from lack of oxygen.

So, as we are salt and light, we should, first, celebrate that. Exalt in the fact that we are salt and light. Spread the salt, let the light shine. Embrace the old Sunday School song, “This little light of mine; I’m going to let it shine!”

Second, I believe we can enhance that saltiness and that light. How? How can you make salt more salty? Physically, I suppose, you can’t. But we are speaking spiritually. And the way I can enhance these qualities is by doing exactly what I am doing right now; reading and meditating on the Word of God.

Father, I thank You that You still have work for me to do, here. While I long for Home, I still have enough attachment to people in this world that I am not quite ready to leave. Is that wrong of me? I hope not. But, while I am here, help me to enhance my saltiness and brightness; bring me out of darkness, continually, into the marvelous light of Your love, mercy, and grace. And then help me to spread that salt and light all around as I walk, each day. All glory to You, Lord!

"Electing God,
you have gathered a people
from every tribe and nation
into your church
that we may be salt and light in the world.
Preserve and protect your church
that it may then be free not to care
for its own preservation but pour itself out
for the world you love.
In Jesus' name,
(Heidelberg Catechism 54)


“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
(Numbers 6:24-26 NIV)

A psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
(Psalms 23:1-3 NLT)

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
(Psalms 46:10 NLT)

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT)

“Be still and know . . .” So very important, and, in today’s culture, so very difficult. It’s what I’m trying to do, right now, as I type in this journal. And, even now, I’m feeling hurried, because time is short.

Father, help me to be still; help me to do it better.

“For the word of God will never fail.”
(Luke 1:37 NLT)

Father, I believe that Your Word will never fail. I believe in Your holy Scriptures and all that they tell me. I pray that You give me the ongoing strength to live what I believe; that my life would not be contradictory, and that I would not be found to be hypocritical. Strengthen my spirit, strengthen my life. Show me Your path and teach me Your ways, that I may walk in Your truth. Unite my heart to fear Your name.

My Lord, I also pray for the ability to see You all around, in Your creation; let every creature that I see be a word from You or a book from You. I pray that we would be responsible stewards of the physical resources You have provided for us. I also pray for all who serve in jobs of the earth, such as forests, farms, and oceans. May they receive Your blessing and protection, and may You reveal Yourself vividly in their environments.

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, 
have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,
have mercy upon us.
O, Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,
grant us Your peace.
(Agnus Dei)

Grace and peace, friends.

A Perfect Body

“A beautiful body in the eyes of the Lord is one spent in self-giving, poured out as a libation in loving service, an instrument of self-donation. You have been gifted with a body fitted for that.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is post-Monday, June 3, 2014.

Today is Repeat Day.

Today is Repeat Day. Actually, the idea is to return to an activity or place that you really enjoyed and do it again. It reminds me of a phrase that my friends and I used to use, back in high school. “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Because if you do it today and like it, you can do it again tomorrow!” 🙂

The folks at Mindtree are shooting for a June 16th start date for Christi, which is two weeks from yesterday. Very exciting, this. The official written offer is still not in hand, but they are working on it. Still a little bit of “red tape” it has to go through. Should be here Wednesday. In the meantime, we are considering going down to Galveston this weekend. I’m waiting to see if my PTO gets approved. I should know today.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, be merciful to me, the sinner.

(From The Divine Hours)

Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Psalm 31:23
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
Psalm 119:147
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.
Psalm 118:28
Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Psalm 33:1, 4, 18-22

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:4

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.

Psalm 61:1-2

In this world of extreme stress and anxiety, it is more important than ever that we find times and places to be still before God and rest in him. “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while,” Jesus told his disciples in Mark 6:31. “Resting in God renews our souls and quiets our racing minds, enabling us to partake of His strength.” (In Touch Magazine)

We might also take stock of the activities in which we participate. Are they all necessary? “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Another version says, “Cease striving. . . ” Slow down. Know that he is God.

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is called “My Physical Body.”

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'”
Hebrews 10:5-7

Some psychologist say that we are defined by how we feel about our bodies. Are you too fat or too skinny? Just right? Flabby, muscular? Pleased or displeased? Physical criteria for judging our bodies is the world’s way.

“A beautiful body in the eyes of the Lord is one spent in self-giving, poured out as a libation in loving service, an instrument of self-donation. You have been gifted with a body fitted for that . . . In this light, your body is truly something beautiful for God, regardless of size, shape, and other dimensions.”

My body is perfect to fulfill what is written in Hebrews 10:7, “I have come to do your will, O God.”

But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

Father, I have spent many years, just as many people in our culture, judging my body by its appearance. And while I have no intention of allowing it to return to what it once was, I thank you that you are reminding me of its true purpose. I thank you that you have gifted me with a body that is fitted to do your will. I ask that you help me to use this body in the way that you would be most glorified. Help me also to take time each day to be still and know that you are God. Help me to rest in you each day, before I go out to work in the world.

I pray for this day. I pray for Christi’s hiring process to go smoothly, this week, and that they will be able to meet the June 16th start date. I also pray that my PTO might be approved, that we can take a relaxing trip at the beginning of next week. But I also pray for your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. I pray that Christi’s back will continue to feel better. Thank you for your healing hands. I pray that Stephanie will be given wisdom and understanding in her life. May her focus and priorities be right, in line with your path for her life. I pray that my trip to work and back will be safe, today. Give us grace and mercy as we gather together this evening for our Huddle group.

I pray for my brother in Christ, Robert, and his son, Daniel, who seems to have a muscle injury that is stubbornly not healing up. I pray that Daniel would rest long enough for it to heal, so that Robert would not have to endure the expense of medical treatment.

Your grace is sufficient.

Be Still and Know
Be Still and Know

Grace and peace, friends.

Be Still and Know

“It takes time for the water to settle. Coming to interior stillness requires waiting. Any attempt to hasten the process only stirs up the waters anew.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is Friday, February 7, 2014.

Today is Send A Card To A Friend Day. I don’t have any statistics to back this up, but I’m guessing that this is a dying practice. I think it would be fun to do, though, and it might boost the mood of a friend, to get an unexpected card in the mail, that just says, “Hi, I was thinking about you!” Not to mention the benefit for our poor Post Offices. . .

So, yesterday morning, I got up at my normal-ish time (my alarm is set for 6:00, but I haven’t slept that late yet). When I went to let Tessie (dog) out, there was nothing. Totally clear. Went through my usual blogging/devotional process, and as I was getting ready for my shower, Christi (who had just gotten up), yelled, “The ground is covered with snow!” Excuse me, what?? Sure enough, she was right, and it was still snowing. In fact, it kept right on snowing until around noon yesterday. By the time I knew it was snowing, it was too late to get an early start to work. The roads were mostly okay, but the closer I got to work, the worse they got. It was odd, too. Any place where traffic flowed at near posted speeds, the roads were clear and the snow was just blowing around behind the cars. But at the traffic lights and other places where traffic didn’t flow, the snow was packed down into slippery ice. There was one point where the traffic on the road I was on was backed up so far and moving so slowly, that I turned around and went across to another road. In all, my normal 45 minute drive to work took me almost two hours! I know people from up north somewhere make fun of us when this happens, but they fail to understand that we don’t have the resources to deal with ice and snow down here. Why on earth would our cities shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for equipment that would be used once, maybe twice, a year? That would be insane. So we just deal with it as best we can, which, from an outsider’s perspective, isn’t very well. Well, to all of them, I just give a hearty helping of raspberries. 😛 And just remember, all you Yankees. . . I don’t laugh at you when you think 95 degrees is “hot.” Okay. Maybe I do. 😀

The company that Christi is currently talking to about a job closed early yesterday (see above paragraph), so she is expecting to talk to them sometime today. In addition, she also has another phone interview on Monday (I think I mentioned that yesterday). She and Stephanie might come over and have lunch with me today, but that probably depends on what time she is supposed to interview with the hiring manager.

On this date in 1964, “Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow lands at New York’s Kennedy Airport.” Off of that plane, for the first time in the U.S., stepped John, Paul, George, and Ringo. They “were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when the boys stepped off their plane and onto American soil.” (Source:

Later this weekend, there will be a tribute to The Beatles, on the night of the 50th anniversary of their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Say what you will about the mop-headed boys. They changed the face of popular music forever.


(From The Divine Hours)

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
Psalm 99:1
Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
Psalm 106:47
Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
Psalm 33:8
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:8

“Any portion of life spent outside of God’s will is wasted time.” (In Touch magazine)

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Interior Stillness.”

Brennan tells the story of a very busy man coming to a desert father and complaining about frustration in his spiritual life; his prayers were ineffective, his virtues flawed, not to mention failed relationships. The desert father listened patiently, and then retreated to his cave, whence he came back with a pitcher of water and a basin. He told the other man to watch the water as he poured it into the basin. When he began pouring, the water splashed on the bottom and sides of the basin. Stirred and agitated, the water swirled around inside the basin. But it gradually settled, and soon the “small fast ripples evolved into larger swells that oscillated back and forth.” Eventually, the water became so still that the man could see his own face in the surface. “‘That is the way it is when you live constantly in the midst of others,’ said the hermit. ‘You do not see yourself as you really are because of all the confusion and disturbance. You fail to recognize the divine presence in your life, and the consciousness of your belovedness slowly fades.'”

“It takes time for the water to settle. Coming to interior stillness requires waiting. Any attempt to hasten the process only stirs up the waters anew.”

“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10

Father, this story has shown me something that I needed. The visual metaphor of using the water basin to describe our lives is truly helpful. How many times is my water disturbed! How often do I disturb it even further with my restless attempts to still it, not being aware that my feeble efforts are, in fact, having the opposite effect! Teach me to be still. Teach me to be still and know. Teach me to be still and know that you are God. You will be exalted. Your will will be accomplished, with or without me. May I truly learn to be still and only move or act when your Spirit prompts me to.

I pray for this day. I pray that Christi will hear from the hiring manager at that job today. I pray that, for the rest of the day, she will rest and do whatever she wants to do. Again, I thank you for the painting that is keeping her spirits up. I pray that my drive to work will be easier than yesterday’s. Keep me aware of your presence during this day, and give me moments of stillness throughout the day. If a period of time comes up where I have no work to do, may I spend it meditating on you and your word, rather than getting bored and frustrated. I pray that Stephanie’s spirit will be settled today and not anxious about anything. Give her understanding and help her accept when things cannot go her way.

Your grace is sufficient.

This isn’t a Christian song, and I really wanted to post the Three Dog Night cover, but I couldn’t find it on You Tube, so here is the original recording by Blue Rose. It still gets the point across.

Be still and know. . .

Grace and peace, friends.

In Quietness and Trust

Good morning. It is Wednesday, November 13, 2013. Hump Day.

Today is “Kindness Day,” so deemed by a collection of humanitarian groups in 1997. Do something kind for someone today.

Yesterday’s work day was pretty good, and Christi seems to have had a pretty good birthday, although her best friend at work made her mad. How do you like that? She doesn’t have as many friends at work as she used to (because many of them have left, not because of other reasons), so not too many people recognized her birthday. But we surprised her at Huddle last night with some cake and other birthday goodies, provided by Terry and Summer, who have been really good friends, especially to Stephanie. That kind of made the day, right there. Oh, and it was largely Stephanie’s idea. I think she was just trying to come with a way to get more cake. 😀

The discussion at Huddle got really deep last night, as we talked about why we struggle with what we believe Jesus wants us to do. Now we are supposed to act on that over the next week. Very challenging stuff.

It’s 30 degrees here this morning. November isn’t half over and we’ve had a freeze. I don’t know if that is indicative of the winter we are going to have or not. Temps over the next ten days are relatively mild, though, even reaching 81 on Sunday. Gotta love Texas. Or not.

Today’s birthdays are Johann Eck, 1486, Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850, Clyde McPhatter, 1933, Garry Marshall, 1934, Mel Stottlemyre, 1941, Joe Montegna, 1947, Whoopi Goldberg, 1955, Aldo Nova, 1956, Steve Zahn, 1967, Gerard Butler, 1969, and Asdrubal Cabrera, 1985.


Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! Psalm 80:7
My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. Psalm 71:23
Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us. Psalm 68:28

Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “In Quietness and in Trust Shall Be Your Strength.” The scripture reading is Isaiah 30:15.

For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling.

Isaiah is urging total dependence upon God, as opposed to “frantic, anxious military and political posturing.” Isaiah believes that “trust in Yahweh is the taproot of security.” This is a very important concept, and it is almost frightening how applicable it is to today’s world. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before how dismaying it is to see the number of Christians in social media who are still in a virtual panic over how much they dislike the President and his policies. They are showing no trust whatsoever in the Lord and his ability to handle things. Their trust is in men and politics. I pity them. This is idolatry and leads to destruction. “The assurance of faith is the conviction that anxious self-securing does not work in the real world.” We need to return to our foundational faith and rest in the security of God’s control.

This verse has a similar feeling to it as Psalm 46:10, Be still, and know that I am God. Our culture is frantic today, everyone running every which way to secure financial success, and saving up for the future. But God calls us to quietness and rest, security found in him. Matthew 6:33. “Seek first the kingdom of God. . .”

Father, you have pointed me down this path for a while now, and with some good results. I can’t say that I have it down just right, yet, but I believe that I have made good progress. I pray that you continue to teach me about quietness and trust as it applies to my world and success. You are my rock; you are my security. It is not found in money, it is most certainly not found in the politics of men. You are in control of this world; you placed the authorities in power; you can handle it. I will practice quietness and rest, showing confidence in the power and strength of my God.

I pray for this day. Keep us safe through this day, and show us your steadfast love and care as we go through the activities of the day. May we have boldness and confidence as we work, showing this quiet confidence to the world around us. Draw Stephanie closer to your heart and show her your love today.

May your confidence and faith rest in the Lord today, rather than in the policies and “strength” of man.

Grace and peace, friends.

Be Still and Know. . .

Good morning. It is Saturday, November 9, 2013.

Today is “Chaos Never Dies Day.” That perfect moment of bliss that we are all looking for probably doesn’t exist. So embrace the moment, chaos and all. Live today. Or something like that. Or go to Glen Rose. The chaos is much more subdued there. And there is pie.

Yesterday was a mixed bag of stress and not-stress. It is interesting . . . I caught myself in the middle of a big pity-party yesterday, and my mid-day time of prayer really helped me get out of it. You see, I’ve been given some added responsibility at work, and the transition to that has been stressful. The problem is, most of the stress was self-created. I was really spiraling yesterday morning, and circumstances didn’t allow me to get my “morning” break until after noon. That break usually happens around 10:30am. I grab my tablet, my Andrew Murray book on intercessory prayer and go into an unused office in our facility. One of my daily prayer resources is an online version of The Divine Hours. I actually own the books, but it is much easier to access on the tablet, which takes up much less space in my messenger bag. Anyway, yesterday afternoon, God did exactly what I asked him to do, which was to help me. I cried out to him, out of a cesspool of stress and self-pity, and he pulled me right out of it. The rest of the day wasn’t perfect, but it was much better. Then I got home and Stephanie was phasing in and out of a meltdown over personal training at the gym. This is an ongoing battle we have with her, and it never ends well. We did actually make it to the gym last night for a decent workout, and Christi and Steph had a good time in the virtual classroom at Anytime Fitness. But then it all started up again when we got home. We eventually got through it, but it was pretty rough. Then we watched (at Stephanie’s insistence) a tear-jerking movie called “The Heart of Christmas” that has Candace Cameron-Bure in it. It tells the true store of Dax Locke, a young boy who lost his battle with leukemia. As we watched this movie, we couldn’t help notice the similarities between this family and Phoebe Fair’s family. I guess this kind of thing is not uncommon. We just don’t hear about it very often.

Today, we have our church service, the second week since we moved to Saturday evenings. I have to learn another new song today, so that will be interesting. Shouldn’t be too difficult, but our regular worship leader is out today. He took his son out slaughtering defenseless animals hunting. So we have a substitute leader today. It should go well. Nothing else really going on today.

Today’s birthdays are Hedy Lamarr, 1913, Thomas Ferebee, 1918, Whitey Herzog, 1931, Bob Gibson, 1935, Mary Travers, 1936, Tom Fogerty, 1941, Lou Ferrigno, 1951, and Susan Tedeschi, 1970.

Here’s a you tube clip of Peter, Paul, and Mary singing “If I Had A Hammer” at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington.

Also, Thomas Ferebee, of whom you may not have heard, was the bombadier on the Enola Gay.


Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!
Psalm 150
Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! Psalm 143:1
O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress. Psalm 59:9

“O God, the source of light: Shed forth your unending day upon all of us who watch for you, that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship may give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (The Divine Hours)

Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “Be Still, and Know That I Am God.” The scripture reading is Psalm 46:10.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

This is the first reading on the discipline of Silence. Immediately, I am challenged to spend 15 minutes (at least) each day, over the next ten days, in silence! This will definitely be a challenge. Complete silence is difficult to find. There are electronic noises everywhere, traffic in most places, people all around. “But try to find the quietest place you can, and make sure that you honor the silence by not speaking, playing music, having the TV on, or bringing your phone.” It might be helpful to begin the time by asking God to help block out additional outside noises, to help focus on him. The time could be spent studying scripture or praying, but the focus should be to “listen” to what God has to say. Journaling is recommended. Read these words from Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“Let none expect from silence anything but
a direct encounter with the Word of God, for the sake of which he has
entered into silence. But this encounter will be given to him. The
Christian will not lay down any conditions as to what he expects or hopes to
get from this encounter. If he will simply accept it, his silence will be
richly rewarded.”

Father, may I find time, during these next few days, to observe a time of silence in my daily life. I know this will not be easy, so I will rely on you to help me. Give me wisdom on how to find the place and the time for this silence, that I might have an extended time of prayer, meditation, and focusing on you. I pray that your Spirit would direct our churches away from the noise that constantly fills our gatherings. May we, your people, not be so afraid of silence. We make so much noise that I fear we drown out your voice when you try to speak to us. How can we hear your voice, if we are constantly making noise? Teach us to be quiet. Teach us to listen.

I pray for the rest of this day. May our worship time this evening be a true celebration of your life in us. Teach us to be better disciples as we learn more about your grace and mercy, as well as the life that you live within us.

Be still and know. . .

Grace and peace, friends.

Be Still and Know…

Good morning. It’s Monday again. July 16, 2012. Today is “National Personal Chef Day.” I wish I had a personal chef. If I could pick one, I think I would pick Graham Elliot from Masterchef.

On this date in 1945, the first atomic bomb was successfully tested in Alamorgordo, New Mexico. “All the powers that be, and the course of history, would be changed forever more.” (Rush) The Canadian rock group, Rush, has written a very thoughtful song about this.

On this date in 1935, the first parking meter in the world was installed in Oklahoma City. As far as I know, no one has written a song about that. On this date in 1969, Apollo 11 departed Earth for the moon. It would be the first time man set foot on the moon. On this date in 1951, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye was published. I still haven’t read it. And on this date in 1966, Tommy James and the Shondells had a number one hit with “Hanky Panky.”

Think they were lip-syncing? Heh.

And so, I will move straight from “Hanky Panky” to my morning devotional. 🙂

Father, I pray for some vision of you, this morning, that will keep me focused on you throughout this day, leading me down paths of prayer without ceasing.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 46. The first few verses of this Psalm are a powerhouse of truth.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

It closes with this admonition:
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

My Utmost For His Highest

… how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

Jesus is using these verses to urge us to “keep our minds filled with the notion of God’s control behind everything.” We must maintain “an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.” God is there. He is always there. Whatever is happening in my life or your life…he knows about it. He knows all about it! If we keep the notion of God’s presence always at the front of our mind, remembering this truth becomes like breathing.
This whole passage of Scripture is designed to help us remember these truths: “God is my Father, He loves me, I shall never think of anything He will forget, why should I worry?”
We must realize, though, that there will be times when God does not lift the darkness; he will appear to be unkind, but he isn’t. He will appear to be unjust, but he isn’t. “Nothing happens in any particular unless God’s will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him.” In this atmosphere, prayer becomes natural; asking becomes second nature. Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Father, I believe that you are always here with me. I believe in my heart that your hand is on all things and that nothing happens outside your will. My head is not always there, though. I’ll confess that, at times, I have doubted your kindness. I will confess that I have doubted your justice. Those times were more frequent in the past than they are now. I have more confidence now, thanks to you activity of your Spirit in my life. I believe what Chambers said above. You are my Father; you love me; You will never forget anything; there is no reason for me to worry. Just as the psalmist told us in Psalm 46, I need to “be still and know” that you are God. This indicates a calm confidence and strength. In this psalm and the Chambers reading, I get a picture of someone standing in a storm, but perfectly still and calm, knowing with all his heart that you have him in his hand and are protecting him. If I were an artist, I would paint this. But I do not paint.

I pray for this day. I pray that Christi will have a good day at work today, with minimal stress. I pray for my day today. Let my prayers be like breathing, and let the confidence of your will and your control be behind them. I pray for Stephanie’s doctor’s visit this afternoon, that it will go well.

May I be still and know that you are God.

Do that today…be still and know…

Grace and peace, friends.