As many of you are aware, this past year was a year of several health 'challenges' for us.
(In fact, we're still in the midst of dental appointments today, this week and the next)
Several times recently we've said to each other, "We need some peace and quiet."
That goal is hard to achieve in this world of our's, so I decided to draw upon some thoughts that I may have shared earlier, but feel that they're worth repeating today.....
for your sake AND for our's!
"Their strength is to sit still..."
"In returning and rest, you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength...and you would not."
"Better is a dry morsel and quietness, than a house full of strife."
"The work of righteousness shall be peace.....
and the effects of righteousness shall be quietness and assurance forever."
I love the old song...
'The Lord is in His Holy Temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.'
While we were in Seminary, I pastored a small church about two hours away.
Following the evening worship service, we would drive back to Ft. Worth and on the drive home, we listened to KWFT radio out of Wichita Falls, Tex.
As they signed off the air for the night, they would play the hymn,
"Be Still My Soul, The Lord is On Thy Side" (also known as 'Finlandia')
It has been one of our favorites ever since those days (1956-'57).
It is a noisy world with all of the new gadgets (I call it 'Sensate Bombardment')
Noise and speed seem to be the 'order of the day'.
I really feel for families today, but there is a better way than:
~ constant noise....
~no 'order' nor meaningful, loving conversation.
There MUST be time for worship, spirituality and quiet moments in the home for:
~ proper growth and
~ maturity to 'take root' in each life!
I'm reminded of the Baptist who went to a worship service with a Quaker friend.
The quietness (without a word being spoken for several minutes)
proved to be too much for the Baptist and he asked his friend,
"When does the service begin?"
The Quaker replied, "After the worship is over."
We would do well, to have more quiet times in our homes and churches!
I think that it boils down to this:
Is this God's business....or my busy-ness?
Who's in charge here?
How well do we know God (Who should be our business partner)?
How often do we read His Partnership Book (the Bible)?
Do you worship Him privately as well as publicly?
I heard just this past week, "The most indepensible thing in the home is the remote control." If this is so and we seldom use the 'off' button, won't God become 'remote'?
I'm afraid that many families are missing out on 'inter-active' conversations...
which help to build character and strength in each family member.
As much as Jesus had to do, He never seemed to be in a hurry.
(See Matt: 14:23 and 26:36-46)
Like God, Jesus was never in a hurry, but was always 'on time'. (John 11)
D.T. Niles (who worked with foreign missionaries for years) observed:
"To hurry means that we gather impressions, but have no experiences.
We collect acquaintances, but make no friends.
We attend meetings, but experience no encounter with God.
If we are to find time, we must encounter Eternity."
In "The Growing Minister" by A.W. Blackwood, he quotes a missionary to Sri Lanka:
"When I came to Ceylon, we traveled by ox-carts.....now we travel by car.
The substitution of the one for the other, has hurt our evangelistic work.
When I traveled by ox-cart, I met people.
Now I rush to a meeting and hurry to get back home."
I'm sure that it does not have to be this way, but you can see the point and the possible dangers.
Sometime back, my wife, La Moyne, quoted Isaiah 30:15 to our daughter Kristin....
to which Kristin replied,
"Oh, I know that one! It was on a plaque in my bathroom when I was younger!"
'In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.' But you would not" (Isaiah 30:15)
When our youngest son was going through those 'trying teenage years', my wife would write Scriptures on poster board and tack them to the underside of the upper bunk bed, so that when Kyle would lie down in his lower bunk bed, he would be looking up at Scriptures......or encouraging thoughts, drawings or pictures that La Moyne had made.
A busy leader once said, "Be Still and Know God".
Jesus lived this by rising up a great while before day and found a quiet place to pray.
An old song says, "Take time to be Holy....the world rushes on."
Recently I heard a travelogue on Alaska and the emphasis was "Alaska...
a place brim-full of hush".
We in 'the lower 48' have GOT to have a place and time of 'Holy Hush'.
One other quote by Blackwood:
"The ancient doctrine of simplicity needs to be applied today, to diminish superfluous activities, which prevent leisure and relaxation. The multiplicity of time-saving gadgets seem, paradoxically, to increase the general busyness and complexity of life.
The solution is NOT TO INCREASE OUR ATTAINMENTS.....
but to DECREASE OUR DESIRES!"
In other words, to follow the paths of simplicity.
Silence the noisy machines enough, to hear a whisper from Heaven.
"Not through earthquakes, wind and fire, but through a voice of gentle stillness...
does God speak" (I Kings 19:11-12 and Isaiah 30:15)
While we were serving as missionaries in Korea, my wife injured her back in a jeep accident. We returned to the U.S. for her surgery and during that trying time, she memorized a a poem that helped her then....and many times since.
La Moyne said that whenever she is in a difficult situation (like recently when she had to have some painful medical tests done and even yesterday when she met with her Lupus Dr.) she quotes this poem, along with Scriptures, to 'calm her fears'.
"Be still, oh heart and calm thy fear
And just remember, God is near.
There is no cloud that can bedim
The loving, watchful face of Him!
No night so dark, He cannot see...
So that should be enough for thee!
So sweetly rest, oh heart...be still
Within the center of His Will.
Would you covenant with us, that 2009 will be a year of 'Being quiet/still...
so that we may KNOW God' ?
My prayer for you (and our family) is to have Isaiah 30:15 fulfilled in our lives.
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