Quiet Before The Lord

It is amazing what the quiet holding of the soul before the Lord will do to the external and seemingly uncontrollable tumult around us.  It is in that stillness that the voice will be heard.

A Lamp For My Feet (pg 104) By Elizabeth Elliot

 

And after the earthquake a fire;

but the LORD was not in the fire:

and after the fire a still small voice.

1 Kings 19:12

 

 

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Elizabeth Elliot is one of my favorite authors.  She writes with such love and passion for the Lord.  The books that I have read written by her have inspired me to seek God in such a way.  I can’t imagine that God would use me the way that He uses her through her experiences and books but to know that if I make myself available He will use me in some way within the world He has placed me. As long as I am in tune with His voice…paying heed to the instructions He gives me for each step I take.

In that thought, it makes me wonder why it is so very hard for some Christians to hear God?  One simple answer is sin. Sin in our lives blocks or grieves the Holy Spirit, it keeps God from working in our lives.  It also keeps us from hearing God’s voice. 

In meeting many Christians, it seems to me that there are at least three types.  Those that are completely surrendered to God walking and growing with Him. Excited about who He is and what He is going to do each day. Being blessed in every way in their life, always giving God the glory. 

Then there are those that are nominal.  Going to church, mentioning God when convenient but never going deeper with Him than hearing a message on Sunday morning and singing a hymn or two. And the only way you would know that they were Christian is they pronounce which church they attend. 

The third type of Christian is somewhat illusive.  They know God. They believe God has done great things in other people’s lives but they often question whether He would do it in their life.  They struggle in many areas.  They are defeated, hopeless sometimes and even unsure that they ever really accepted Christ as their Savior.  They go back and forth in their worship, their faith and their walk.  What they don’t understand is that what they need is already indwelling in them. 

The very same power that raised Jesus from the dead is living inside each one who professes Him as Savior. All one has to do is take time to get to know HIm.  To watch Him work, weaving the good and bad in our lives into something beautiful.  The secret is that He already knows everything about us.  I love telling people that….cuz it is true.  Scripture says He formed us in our mother’s womb and that He knows the very number of hairs on our heads. He knows how much we can take, He knows what to allow into our lives to keep us drawing near to Him. 

I know there are those reading this who are probably saying what beautiful thing could possibly come out of a senseless death of my loved one?  Or losing my job and my home?  Being raped? My child being addicted to drugs? My marriage falling apart?  Betrayal by adultery?  Diagnoses of terminal cancer?  Why on earth would God allow those things to happen to people, especially Christian people who have made the decision to trust God?  This question is often asked especially when life is sooooo very hard to take. The truth is we live in a fallen world. The moment sin entered into the world, evil existed in our flesh & we began to die. Pretty much everything awful that happens can be associated with that fact. To many that answer is often inadequate.

While God is always present in every event of our lives he will not control what people do because He has given us free will.  He does not promise a trouble free life but does promise He will never leave us nor forsake us. Often, we as Christians, are quick to question the purpose of God.  We think we have to figure it out. 

The Christian filled with the Holy Spirit will not question why but what, what do I do with this?  The nominal Christian will lose faith or give into resignation and go on in their shallow faith. The struggling Christian will wonder if they themselves have caused God to punish them.   They do not know God well enough to know that God does not strike down punishment on us as a cruel dictator.  They won’t always understand that sometimes the trials that we go through are brought on by consequences of our sin or the sins of others, not punishment from God. 

It is not hard to get to know Him. It just takes time.  Time spent seeking Him. Conversing with Him. Getting alone with Him. Get to know Him first before you make judgement on Him.  Give Him a chance to show His love for you.  Allow Him to change your heart and life.  Saturate your mind with His words. There is no formula except to spend time daily and consistantly. Otherwise what type of Christian will you be? Or want to be?

One of the things you will discover is that He is very, very personal. And only you can know if you hear His voice or not, because His voice becomes in tune with your heart and soul if poised to hear it. 

To hear the still small voice when quiet before the Lord is the most incredible, indescribable thing you will every experience.  I pray that you would desire that…

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Grace to you

shell

From Left Field…

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Sunday afternoon I had decided that my boys and I needed a change from our usual lunch fair.  We usually go out for Chinese or Fried Chicken after church.  Not every Sunday but at least once a month.  I thought it would be fun to go to Pizza Hut.  They had renovated the one by our church so I thought P-I-Z-Z-A spells fun, right? 

 
Well if you have ever gone out with two boys ages 10 & 12 you can imagine that their idea of fun and mine are not even in the same ballpark.  Between getting 7 calls from my daughter,
who wanted me to drive 30 miles to pick her up, giving me directions, a time and a meeting place, and two little boys spitting wadded up straw paper through their straws at each other, I was wondering what side of the brain that registered “Pizza = fun.”

 
After I got them to stop spitting and we figured out what on the menu they would not eat, it became clear to me that having quality time with my boys would take some work.  I got to thinking about how I could start a conversation with my two little princes that would be both meaningful and enlightening.  The results being that I find out something endearing about each of them.

 
I seem to remember saying something to the effect

“Ok, boys we need to talk about making some positive changes around the house this year.  What do you think?”

I think this is where the conversation went left –asking questions before laying out the plan.

So this is how it went.

E=my 12 yr old

S=my 10 yr old

M= me

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E “Well you need to do more stuff with us.”

S= “Yeah, fun stuff, stop kicking me E.”

M=”Well how about Tennis, we could all play tennis.”

E= “That would not be fun, let me have one of those S.” (one of the Star Wars action figures S carries around everywhere we go in a large ziploc bag)

S= “I will play with you, mama, no you won’t give it back.”

M= “Good, thank you, that will be fun.”

E= “Well you don’t take us places like Papa did, come on S, I will give it back.”

M=”Well when do I have time to take you places like he did, we don’t always have time or money left over at the end of the month for extra stuff and you don’t like going places I like to go.”

E= “You could find some left over.”

Time or money was the question in my head, both would be difficult, so I started with the answer to the money issue…
M= “Here take my phone and get the calculator up, now add these numbers…..”

E= (looking at me dumbfounded but taking the phone) “Oops messed up, give me those numbers again”

He tries 3 more times before handing me the phone back.

M=”Well anyway let me add it up for you……”

E= “S let me just have one for a minute, I promise I’ll give it back!” 

I attempt to add it two more times before giving up.  Why are cell phone calculators so hard to use anyway?

M= “Anyway, so this is what I make every two weeks and this is what I pay out, it doesn’t go very far does it?”

E=(looking at me with blank look then changing subjects) “You know before Papa left I didn’t even really know you were there, you were always doing something around the house.”

M=”Yeah, like laundry, housecleaning, cooking dinner, taking you to school and picking you up”

E= “Yeah I guess that’s it, it is almost like you didn’t exist, ok, I don’t mean that in a mean way, cuz your the mama but what I remember is that I always knew Papa’s faces.  Like his angry face (he shows me what it looked like and it was right on) and you have many angry faces.  Like I don’t even know which one it is really…(he proceeds to show me a few)  well it is just hard to tell with you.”

I am sitting and staring at E not sure if I want to laugh out loud cuz he is serious.  The contortions he was making with his face did not resemble anything that looked like one of my feelings. Now, one would think I would be offended that after all the years I spent caring for and nurturing for my two little boys came down to this one moment: I didn’t even exist until “the papa” was gone. 

But being the forgiving mama that I am and trying to see the glass half full my mind went immediately to the thought “How enlightening his little statement was.”  That my son was entering into the world of female communication and he isn’t even aware of it yet.  He has no clue that from that day forward every female he meets will cause him the same quizzical look on his face.  And I know the thoughts that follow that look

“What on earth are you talking about and why can’t I understand you?”

This new knowledge about my soon to be teenage son was definitely out of left field!

S=”Mama, can I have just cheese on my pizza?”

He is ten.
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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things….

 
I have agreed with Lizzy to pray for her to keep her resolution and she in turn has agreed to pray for me… I was hesitant to state what mine was, knowing how hard it will be to keep it…but I did and then within 30 minutes Faithfulmom posted a website for those needing a way to help them lose weight. 
(guess what my resolution is?) 
Anyhoo….Part of the battle in overcoming strongholds starts in the mind.  We must replace old/negative/defeating thoughts with new/positive/victorious thoughts.  One of the things that has helped me in the past to replace the thoughts is by memorizing scripture. Here is one of the first ones I filed away upstairs! The Word is powerful and living!  Awesome!

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:6-8

And I am also reminded of a wonderful song….

 
When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

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These are a few of my favorite things….

 

God’s Word illuminated

Leading someone to Jesus

Edifying another

The sound of child’s belly laugh

Apple Fritter – warmed

Giving someone a gift

Starbucks – Grande, 2 raw sugars & cream

Listening to fire crackle in a fireplace or camping outdoors

PB&J – Crunchy PB, Red Plum Jam on toast & sliced banana

Sunsets anywhere in the world

Smell Fresh mown grass, cool ocean breeze

Wet Sand squishing between my toes when the ocean goes back out

Watching a military parade

Grilled Hamburger w/swiss cheese, onions, bread &butter pickles & mayo

Giving my children a surprise

Holding hands in a movie

Dark Chocolate Bar with caramel inside

Roses in every color

Caramel Popcorn

Gerbera Daisies

Someone brushing my hair or tickling my back

Swinging on a porch swing in the fall

The sound of a rain storm

Flirting

Creating something for someone

Planning a party for a friend

Hearing a hymn sung acapella by a gifted voice

Reading a good blog

The smell of thanksgiving dinner

Being hugged

A hot shower after working out

Hearing from "spacelets" (thanks Jane)

Wink

 

 

 

What are yours?

Grace to you all…

Shell