Does He Have To Raise His Voice?

July 22, 2019


And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.  I Kings 19:11-12

God is a kind and gracious Father.  He is also a whispering God.  His voice is heard in the wind of his Holy Spirit.  He is comforting in His encouragement. He is specific in His instruction, enabling us to make decisive and wise decisions.  My experience of Him as Abba encompasses all of these.  Even when He has had to discipline me, I have known Him to be kind.

I have never understood when someone admits, “I’m hard headed. God has to hit me upside the head to get me to listen.”  Stubbornness is not a badge of honor for any of us.  Perhaps Jesus would want to ask, “Wouldn’t you want a whispering Father instead?”

Does God deal differently with different types of people?   There are larger than life personalities.  There are strong-willed saints.  There are rebellious believers.  And there are disciples who are gentle of heart.  Each could, I guess, require a different approach from Abba Daddy.  But if each of us is called to be humble before God ~ no matter who we are or how we’re wired ~ wouldn’t His whisper suffice?

I recall that the prophets who encountered the revelation of God in the O.T. fell on their face and were undone.  They embodied humility.  ‘Humble” comes from the word ‘humus’ – meaning ‘dirt’.  We are not worthless as dirt but we are face down in the dirt as we are prostrate before a holy God.

To whom will the Lord be revealed?  To the one who walks humbly with their God.  Elijah, the larger than life prophet, heard God in the wind.  He exemplified Deuteronomy 8:6  It’s paramount that you keep the commandments of God, your God, and that you walk down the roads he shows you and reverently respect him.  The Message

Father God, may You never have to raise Your voice to my stubbornness.  Amen

So that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.  Romans 15:32 The word ‘refresh’ is found 17 times in scripture.  In most of them, the spirit of one person is being refreshed in the company of another.  This got me thinking.  What really happens when I …

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Going Home To Get My Spiritual Bearings

July 15, 2019


Tomorrow is the first month’s anniversary of our son’s death.  In some ways, it seems like a year has gone by.  So much emotion has been packed into so short a time.  For the first several weeks, sleeping soundly was impossible.  I’m just now starting to catch up.  What better place to do it than to go home to my roots.

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Beloved Berkshire Mountains

While I live in Georgia and call that home, my roots are in New England in a little town called Petersburgh.  I am fortunate to be able to go back to my childhood home (my sister still lives there) and walk the grounds that overlook the river, and then go to bed in my old bedroom.

There’s something about going home that allows you to get your bearings.  I finally slept last night – all night – for a good 11 hours.  I’ve gotten out to drive all the back roads I love and it has given me much time for reflection and conversations with Jesus.

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Childhood Bedroom

There’s also something about going home to the heart of God that allows us to get our spiritual bearings.  He is the safe place.  He hushes our agitation.  He speaks into the void where emptiness eats away at the soul.  He puts all our questions to rest as faith believes that He is enough ~ even without answers.

I’ve printed out Hebrews 11:1 on an index card and have been living in it for the past four weeks.  Here it is in THE MESSAGE.  The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.  The meaning of ‘getting my spiritual bearings’ is unwrapped in this scripture.  Trust in God is the firm foundation that makes life (even in the midst of tragedy) worth living.  Trust in God is my handle on what I can’t see.

Suicide leaves so many questions behind.  Haunting questions.  Most never know the answers to why someone took their own life.  While here in my childhood surroundings, spiritual rest is intermittent amidst the grief but it is there nonetheless.  My trust in God has not been shaken loose from its moorings.  He’s got me.  He’s got my son.  He’s got the answers.  For everything I cannot see, or know, I do know in whom I have believed.

I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.  Psalm 119:163 God is rarely ambivalent.  He loves truth and He hates falsehood.  David spent enough time in the Torah and enough time in worship that God’s appetite rubbed off.  How our culture needs more like him.  There are far too many prominent Christians in …

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