Tuesday, February 26, 2013

When Silence is Golden

It's the quiet that speaks the loudest.

I'm not one to have a TV or a radio on for noise.

I like the silence of quiet.

I can think the clearest when it's silent.

Sometimes there are things that must be thought through and the only way it can be done is when it's quiet.  When there are no distractions finding their way to interrupt the deeper thoughts that must be thought.

Maybe I'm alone in my thinking, but I also can hear God so much better when it's quiet.  I hear His Words speaking to my soul as I try to piece together a passage from scripture or bring a prayer to His feet.

It's good for our minds to just think without distraction and pulls from every which way.  Sometimes our minds race in the dark, in the quiet of the night, because they race so much during the day, constantly jumping from one thought to the next thought.  One task that needs tasking to the next task that must get done now, before....

Before I sign this child's paper for school.

Before I run to the store for milk, but wait, I need bread and shampoo and oh yeah, toilet paper.  Before I go to this meeting, return this phone call.  Before...

Before I go to bed and start the day all over, the running all over, the mind is constantly running for us, trying to do it all and remind us of all that we have to do and all that we aren't and never will be because there's just no time to sit in silence and hear God.

Because if I took the time to sit in silence to hear God, to talk with God, I wouldn't like what I'd hear.  The accusations may come.  The "you shouldas", the "if only I had", the "God doesn't deal with someone like me", the "God could never forgive what you did."  Those accusations.  That's what silence speaks.

But wouldn't you love for that to be different?  Does your heart hunger for the possibility of talking to God with no accusations running through that racing mind of yours?

His does too.

He longs to show His love to you like a Father to a child.  He longs to comfort you with His eternal love.  He longs to sing over you, to delight in you.  He longs for you to know just how loved you are.

But when the mind is filled with constant noise and perpetual to do lists being silently checked off, it's hard to hear anything that speaks deeply to the hurting heart.  To the longing heart.  To the grieving heart.

Let silence restore you.  Let quiet comfort you.  Let silence speak whispers of love and hope and forgiveness and letting go to you.  Let Him come to you in the silence and sing over you.

He loves you and longs for you to live in the freedom that His love brings.  Turn off the noise that can be physically turned off.  Ask Him to turn off the noise in your mind that you can't turn off, ask Him again and again until all you can hear is Silence.

When you hear Silence, ask Him to speak to you words of comfort and love and healing.

So do not fear the silence for He is with you; do not be dismayed, for He is your God.   He will strengthen you and help you; He will uphold you with His righteous right hand.  Let Him comfort you with His compassion. The Lord will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

He has set you free to listen in silence.  He will not accuse you, no, he will comfort you and restore you and give you peace of mind.  He will quiet that running, racing mind of yours and give you the peace that passes all understanding.

He will.

You only need to believe He will.

Ssshhhhhh.

Listen............






Peace,
Ronda





Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TJOLC Part 4

Ugh.  That's the only word for it.  Ugh.

Ugh describes the feeling I get when I think of the downsizing that has to start.  Now.

Ugh.

Ugh thinking it, ugh starting it, ugh sorting it, ugh, ugh, ugh.

Then I saw books that I've been keeping as my favorites.  That I thought I would never, could never part with.  But really, why am I hanging onto them?  They were, for the moment that I read them my favorite, and with the thought that this was so good I will read it again.  But did I?  Have I?  Will I?  No.  No.  Probably, most likely not.

I have a stack of autobiographies that I've thoroughly enjoyed reading.  I always like reading the personal stories of folks, because it's in their words that you really can get a deeper picture of their thinking, their heart's motives.  The tunnel view media only let's us see one side, usually the side the media wants us to know, rather than the multi-faceted sides of the person that an autobiography can let us see.

I like that.  Some of my favorites of late have been Regis Philbin, Florence Henderson, Laura Bush, and Johnny Cash.  An autobiography lets you see the person for who they really are.  What they struggled with, how they overcame or didn't overcome personal battles.  Autobiographies let us see that we all started as just a boy, or just a girl, growing up with dreams and fears.

We all start out the same.  Just people.  Figuring out how life works, where we fit in.

Just writing with Heather





Thursday, February 14, 2013

Trusting the Spirit of God in Your Loved Ones

On a small piece of paper tucked in between two pages of my Bible is the handwritten note to myself:
I trust the Spirit of God in my loved ones.

I don't know when I wrote the note, why I wrote it, or where I got the thought, I just know it's been there a long time and I've come across it during divine moments when all one can do is to trust the Spirit of God in my loved ones.

I probably came across that quote in a book or a devotional, but I'm sure it spoke to me during a time I was worrying about a loved one.  

Trusting the Spirit of God in our own lives is hard, but even harder to trust Him working in the lives of those we love.  We want (or at least I want, how about you?) to see God working the way I think He should be working.  I'm guilty of being the holy spirit instead of letting the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit.  

I'm not perfect at trusting His Spirit in those I love, but I'm getting there.  It's not always easy, and God has to peel my fingers off the control knob one by one sometimes, but I am getting it.  Slowly.  

There's freedom when I trust the Spirit of God in my loved ones.  Freedom to rejoice that God is God and is doing what only God can do.  Freedom to believe that God knows so much more than I do about the inner workings of a loved one's heart.  Freedom to rest from constant worryprayer.  You know what that is, you worry so you pray, and then you worry some more so you pray some more. And really, when we worrypray we're not praying, we're just finding a excuse to deny we are really worrying.  Freedom to trust God's Spirit in a loved one gives me time to praise Him for what He is doing and not waste time worrypraying.  

There's freedom when I trust God's Spirit in a loved one.  Freedom to be an encourager, not an enabler or a pest or a nagger.  

Freedom

It's a good word.  It covers a lot of ground.  There's more t o be had, more to be found.
It doesn't mean the shackles never bind, it means that when Jesus is around, freedom's not hard to find.

Freedom isn't free, so they say in the USA
And it came at a high price for the One who gave Himself away

So that I can be free, free to live, free to love, free to grow, free to stand
It came at the cost of nails in His feet and His hands

Freedom isn't free, and the price was high
But He paid my debt so that I could not deny

It isn't me that lives free to do what I please,
It's Him in me that gives me the ease

The ease to face trials, to face joys, to face tears
With the One who knows how to take away fears.

He is the One who brings freedom to me
And He is the One who says, "Just trust Me."



Friday, February 8, 2013

What Good is Faith?

What good is faith?

What good is your faith?

When I hear, "I have faith," and the object of the faith is left unsaid, I'm left to my own assumptions of what the person may mean by "I have faith."  If I know they are a Believer I assume that their statement could be finished like this perhaps, "I have faith in God to_____________,"  whatever context that statement was made.

What good is your faith?

I get in my car, turn on the key and have faith that my car will start.  I have faith that the ones who built my car and who maintain it's oil and other levels have done what they can to see that my car is faithful to get me to where I'm going everyday.  Does it take faith in my car to believe my car will run?  What if I don't have faith in my car's ability, because I'm a worry wart and have unsubstantiated fears about cars and the auto industry and its workers and so much else,unwarranted UN-faith; is my car UNable to run because I don't have faith in it?

What good is faith?

If I don't have faith in Someone, does that mean that Someone doesn't exist simply because I don't have faith Someone does exist?

I ask this question not to stir up doctrinal questions and cause division or to give you a guilt trip, but to seriously ask myself and anyone who has read this far, what good is faith?  What is it for?  What if you have faith and don't use it except waiting for the eternal heavenly reward of faith?  Is that all God gave us faith for?

There are a few basic starting points, I think, before one can fully dive into the question at the start of this post.

What does faith mean to you?

Can you lose faith?  Does faith gain or lose it's ability, "she has weak faith, he has strong faith?"

What or whom is the object of your faith?  God?  Yourself?  Your trained abilities?  Or a combination of all three?

If you have faith, are you trusting in it for the sole purpose you may believe it brings - eternal salvation?  Or do you believe there is more to faith than just saving it for when you are called home to heaven?

I looked up the word faith in my Strong's Exhaustive and found  interesting and unexpected facts.

1. In the Old Testament, the word faith was used in only eleven passages and in those there were seven separate Hebrew words, and of those, only three were used in the sense of faith in God.  The others were almost, understood by myself, to be the opposite of faith, Unfaith, if you will and the verses spoke of breaking faith with God or a fellow human.

2.  In the New Testament the word Faith is used  ninety-seven times to translate the Greek word, Pistis, which means "faith, trust, believe."  That's the simplest definition.  And with that one word, ninety-seven passages in the New Testament use that word in various ways.  Out of the ninety-seven verses only thirteen were NOT Pistis or Pisteuo, another word that means "to believe in, have faith in, trust" (used nine times).  The words were used to describe small faith, weak faith, no faith, mustard seed sized faith, a shield of faith, healing faith, confessing faith, purifying faith, righteous faith, rich in faith, resting faith, true faith, faith without deeds, and faith that believes without seeing.

Isn't that what faith really is?

Believing in Someone without seeing proof Someone exists?

Believing that, even though I don't understand HOW my car will run when I turn on the key and put it into gear, or am able to see the engine as its working, I have faith that it will get me from point A to point B.

So I ask the question again, what good is our faith?  If the object of my faith is Jesus Christ, and I "believe, trust" in Him, His power, His works, His abilities, then  do I live like belief and faith in Him would compel me to live?

Do I say with my lips, "I have faith," but my heart and my actions display just the opposite?

Faith is a gift. It's nothing we can conjure up inside ourselves.  It's a gift, given by God.

Some gifts are treasured and used over and over, and some gifts are put on a shelf never to be taken out  and used for the purpose it was given by the giver.

What good is faith now if it's only for something later?

I believe Freedom comes with faith.  When God gives faith, he gives freedom.  Freedom to use the faith He's given to live the life He's planned for us.

He gives us the Faith to have faith in Him when times are challenging, when we struggle in relationships, when we don't know what tomorrow will bring.  When you think you have weak faith, it's still  faith that exists.  Faith from God.  Beg for more faith!  Don't have faith in faith though, have faith in the Giver of your precious Faith!  He is the object of our faith.

He gives us the faith to lay aside the old ways and old objects of faith.  He frees us with faith. Faith is the key to Freedom.

I challenge you to pick up your Bible and skim through the New Testament.  Nearly every chapter of every book has the word faith on its page.

Don't be discouraged by your lack of faith or your misuse or UN-use of faith, be encouraged that you have Faith - a faith that gives freedom to walk in new ways because the One walking with you is the One who gave you the gift in the first place.

Peace,
Ronda

Exodus 21:8; Deuteronomy 32:51; Joshua 22:16; Judges 9:16,19; 1 Samuel 14:33; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Isaiah 7:9; 26:2; Habakkuk 2:4; Malachi 2:10, 11, 14, 15, 16; Matthew 6:30; 8:10, 26; 9:2, 22, 29; 13:58; 14:31; 15:28; 16:8; 17:20; 21:21; 24:10; Mark 2:5; 4:40; 5:34; 6:6; 10:52; 11:22; 16:14; Luke 5:20; 7:9, 50; 8:25; 8:48; 12:28; 17:5, 6, 19; 18:8, 42; 22:32; John 2:11; 7:31; 8:30; 11:45; 12:11, 42, 14:12; Acts 3:16; 6:5, 7; 11:24; 13:8 14:9, 22, 27; 15:9; 16:5; 20:21; 24:24; 26:18; 27:25; Romans 1:5,8,12, 17; 3:3, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31; 4:5, 9,11,12,13,14,16, 19, 20; 5:1, 2; 9:30, 32; 10:6, 8, 17; 11:20; 12:3, 6; 14:1, 2, 23; 1 Corinthians 2:5; 12:9; 13:2, 13; 15:14, 17; 16:13; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 4:13; 5:7; 8:7; 10:15; 13:5; Galatians 1:23; 2:16, 20; 3:8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26; 5:5, 6; Ephesians 1:15; 2:8; 3:12,17; 4:5, 13; 6:16; 23; Philippians 1:25, 27; 2:17; 3:9; Colossians 1:4,5,23; 2:5, 7, 12; 1 Thessalonians 1:3,8; 3:2, 5, 6, 7, 10; 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 4, 11; 3:2; 1 Timothy 1:2, 4, 5, 14,19,; 2:7, 15; 3:9,13; 4:1, 6, 12, 5:8; 6:10, 11,12, 21; 2Timothy 1:5,13; 2:18,22,3:8, 10, 15; 4:7; Titus 1:1, 2, 4, 13; 2:2; 3:15 Philemon 1:5, 6; Hebrews 4:2,14; 6:1,12; 10:22, 38; 11:1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23,  24, 27, 28, 29, 30,31, 33, 39; 12:2; 13:7 James 1:3; 2:5, 14,17, 18, 20, 22,24,26; 5:15; 1 Peter 1:5, 7, 9, 21; 5:9; 2 Peter 1:1, 5; 1 John 5:4; Jude 1:3, 20; Revelation 2:13, 19