Attention

 

Woman talking through a megaphone and a man plugging his earsIf I’m in a big room and it’s loud and a bit chaotic and I want to get everyone’s attention, I can yell or whistle and people will often get quiet. It doesn’t do much good to make an announcement to a room full of people who aren’t paying attention.

The trumpet is a pretty loud horn instrument. If I’m anywhere a trumpet that is being played, it’s hard to ignore. It is like the bugle which was used by the US Calvary years ago to signal the troops to charge or retreat.

John is watching and trying to keep all of this written down as to what is happening in this beautiful, unique place he’s in. He is watching as the Lamb opens the seventh seal. Check this out…

1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand in the presence of God; seven trumpets were given to them. (Revelation 8:1-2 CSB)

I can see something big coming. Trumpets are not quiet. I also enjoy silence sometimes. The contrast between silence and a trumpet is several decibels.

The Lord wants the attention of His people. He will do whatever it takes to get our attention. I’m committed to giving the Lord my attention in the quietness of the morning. I love hearing from Him. He doesn’t always whisper, but I feel like His Spirit speaks to me about my day coming up. He directs my steps and gives me insight to make sound decisions. I don’t want Him to ever need to shout for my attention – although He is capable of that for sure.

Come & Listen – David Crowder

Come and listen, come to the water’s edge, all you who know and fear the Lord.
Come and listen, come to the water’s edge all you who are thirsty, come.

Let me tell you what He has done for me.
He has done for you,
He has done for us.

Come and listen,
Come and listen to what He’s done.

Praise our God for He is good.

He has done for me,
He has done for you,
He has done for us.

Come and listen,
Come and listen to what He’s done.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

Quiet

 

girl gesturing silence saying shh using her hand - concept vectoI grew up listening to music and like most teenagers, I liked it loud. I wanted to hear the “ping” of the cymbal or the acoustic guitar amid the electric. I subscribed to the notion, “if the music was too loud, you were too old”!  Yes, it has affected my hearing a bit so that now the reason I like music loud is so that I can hear it! LOL!

The Psalmist whose words I read this morning, speaks of quiet. I have learned that I do like to get up early while my house and my world is quiet. I like to hear from the Lord.  I like to hear from Him before the noise of my life begins. It’s not that He can’t speak through the noise of my life (because He does), but I don’t often hear through the noise. I like to start my day with Him speaking into my heart. Check this out…

My heart is not proud, Lord,
    my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
    or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quietened myself,
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord
    both now and for evermore. (Psalm 131:1-3 NIV)

I want to hear what the Lord says, because what I want to say is not nearly as important. He is God of Creation, King of Kings & Lord of Lords – I would be wise to trust Him. I would be wise to hear Him. I would be wise to follow His instructions. I would be wise to put my hope in Him. I am ok to sit quietly with Him. He speaks volumes to me heart in the quiet moments where I can listen intently. He handles my life. He will take charge of the smallest detail to the largest, monumental decision. He gives me wisdom and strength in the quiet moments. He prepares me for the noise of my day in the quiet moments of the morning. I’m thankful that I have Him and that I know Him.

Today is a different day for me. I’m attending a funeral later this morning of a dear family friend who was killed suddenly in an auto accident. Her family is hurting deeply.  Later this afternoon, I get to be part of a beautiful, outdoor country wedding with my nephew and his sweet bride to be. In the quietness of this morning, the Lord makes both these events somehow beautiful and meaningful. My life – this life is all about bringing glory to God with my life. He loves it when I point to Him. My quiet time in the morning helps me map out my day and how I can get that accomplished.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Loud & Quiet

 

Women said, woman listening to gossipAs I get older, I’ve realized that my hearing has dropped off a bit. There are certain frequencies that I haven’t been able to hear since I was 21 years old. I took the Mosquito Ring Tone test and failed pretty bad. My Dad had hearing damage when he was a young man and he can’t hear very well at all, even with his hearing aids installed.

I have been doing a different kind of listening for many years as well. I like to start my day reading God’s Word simple for me. I listen to Him speak into my heart through His Word. I’ve noticed that as I sit and listen for Him to speak into my life, He uses all sorts of ways to speak. My spiritual hearing has improved dramatically by reading His Word nearly every day.

This morning I came across another event in the life of Elijah. After learning all that he had done on Mt. Carmel defeating the idol Baal in an altar contest, Jezebel, the wicked queen of Ahab sent him a death threat. He fled right away and came to a place where the Lord ministered to him and Elijah went to Mt. Sinai where Moses had received the 10 Commandments. Check this out…

11 The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ (1 Kings 19:11-13 NIV)

I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the Lord speak to me in a loud way such as a storm. I’m also confident that He has spoken to me in a quiet gentle whisper. I can’t always predict His timing, but I can’t predict His Presence. He is never late. He never abandons or leaves me. I’ve learned that being in His Presence is a difference maker even when He doesn’t say a word or do anything. Spending time with the Lord in the morning is the most valuable use of my time. As I start my day with Him, I have sharpened my hearing because I don’t want to miss His gentle whispers.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Silence

 

Woman talking through a megaphone and a man plugging his earsThere are times that I love the peace and serenity I feel in silence. Recently my family celebrated my Dad’s 80th birthday. It was a lot of fun with a lot of my family gathered as well as friends and neighbors. I must say that silence was not really part of the celebrating, but afterward I was looking forward to silence. I’ve been both the giver and receiver of the “silent treatment” when someone is angry or frustrated with me. There are times when silence is a blessing and at other times it’s very painful and hard.

The Lord had gone silent on Saul for his disobedience when the Lord told him to carry out His furious judgment on the Amalakites. Saul is on his own and the silence of the Lord is deafening. Check this out….

4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. 6 He enquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. (1 Samuel 28:4-6 NIV)

Samuel was gripped by fear and this was magnified when he realized that the Lord had turned away from Him. He actually sought out a witch or medium. This is extremely dangerous territory where the Lord is involved. He wanted to hear from the prophet Samuel who was dead. It is the beginning of the end of Saul’s leadership and I think he knows it.

I don’t want to experience the silence of the Lord. I want my hearing from the Lord to improve as my body ages and my physical hearing slips a bit. I would rather hear from the Lord than anyone else. I’m so thankful that the Lord speaks to me through His Word and through my daily journey of prayer. He gives wisdom and understanding that blows my mind. He prompts and He directs. He speaks and He whispers. He stirs my heart to hear Him more clearly. I’m grateful to be called His kid. I’m grateful that He listens to my heart. I’m grateful that He speaks to me. When I sit before Him in silence, I’m so grateful that He isn’t silent.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Silent

girl gesturing silence saying shh using her hand - concept vectoThere is not a lot of silence in my world. It seems like everywhere I go has some noise. These things called notifications try to be subtle, but they are part of the noise.  In the mornings I like the quietness of my home. It’s not really silent as I hear the fan of the furnace and the noise of the coffee maker. I can also hear the hum of the refrigerator. I do like my quiet time with the Lord in the mornings. I always leave with some clearer perspective about the Lord and how He wants to move in my life. I think sometimes the noise of the day can crowd out my ability to think clearly and act wisely.

When it’s quiet I can hear clearer from the Lord.

When it’s quiet I can see His hand on my life.

When it’s quiet I can rest more completely in Him.

When it’s quiet I feel renewed, refreshed and ready to deal with the noise.

The nation of Israel was making final preparations for going into The Promised Land. Moses was giving them instructions of all sorts and then says be quiet. Check this out…

9 Then Moses and the Levitical priests said to all Israel, ‘Be silent, Israel, and listen! You have now become the people of the Lord your God. 10 Obey the Lord your God and follow his commands and decrees that I give you today.’ (Deuteronomy 27:9-10 NIV)

If will see my self as God’s kid, it changes my perspective on everything. I find hope and peace in knowing that I’m God’s kid. I don’t want to loose that perspective. I think my times of silence with Him, restores my perspective.

Being silent and listening is not expensive. It does take some time. I’m reminded to listen with my ears and my eyes as I walk through His Word.

Pressing On!

Dwayne