Finding Your Quiet Place with God

Philippians 4:7-9

 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.

 Thought for the Day:   God answers prayers through those around us.

I have truly enjoyed my time recently taking my folding chair down by the creek to sit and pray.  It has become a place that, even having other houses nearby, gives me solitude and a feeling that it is just God and me in the midst of the running creek, blowing breeze, and scampering animals.   Needing to pray recently, I headed down with my chair and as I walked I immediately heard the hammering of nails as a roof was being replaced at one of the houses nearby.  I was disappointed as I realized I would not be able to be quiet with God in the way I wanted.  After sitting for a few minutes, my mind going a lot of directions, I kept going back to the sound of the hammer.  Then, I concentrated on God and prayed the words I wanted to Him.  After a few minutes, I opened my eyes and realized that as hammering continued at that house I had been lost in God.  My mind and heart completely blocked out that hammering for those few minutes.  The Spirit, I believe, blocked the sound where I could be in solitude with God.

In today’s world, it seems to get more difficult to find the time and place to pray.  The sounds tend to bring our minds to our modern place as we hear new sounds and wonder what they are, when we hear siren’s in the distance and wonder who is in need (I try to say a prayer for that person), or when we hear construction sounds nearby  and we can’t quite find our “Quiet Place”.  After that experience, I realized that if we really want to talk to God, we can even through those noises.  We sit, relax, close our eyes, and let the Spirit do the work of blocking the sound. Then, we can find ourselves in our “Quiet Place” with God where we can have deep conversation with Him.

Prayer:  God, thank You for surrounding us with your spirit to help us become quiet when we talk to You.  Help us to always know that when we talk to you that you are there and you will help us in our need to pray.  Be with us as we find our “Quiet Place” today.  Amen.

Prayer Focus:  Finding Your Quiet Place

Things are Different, but the Same

Psalms 46:1-7

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.  God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her right early.  The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.   The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Thought for the Day:   God has been, is, and will always be with us

Waking late on the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 because of a twelve-hour bout in two emergency facilities with my child who broke his arm was not how in intended on spending the anniversary of that event that changed the make-up of our country and really the world.  My plan was to sit in the choir listening to the sermon and singing the special anthem of the day.  But that didn’t happen.  When driving in from the ER at 6:15 this morning, we knew the boys and I would not be attending church.  My husband awoke after a couple of hours of sleep to go as he was to direct a very special piece and lead worship during the late service.  Things are different.  Fifteen years ago, my husband and I had just moved to our new home in Collierville, Tennessee, so we were still walking around boxes.  Where we lived in Collierville was in the direct line where Federal Express planes flew into Memphis each night, so we had a constant roar of the planes overhead.  On 9/11, that peace of hearing the planes overhead throughout the night disappeared.  Things were different.  Today, sitting outside to write as the boys awoke to watch television and talk, the first thing I heard was a plane going over and when I looked up, all I saw was a clear blue sky.  That is what we saw that day fifteen years ago.  Never had I experienced the deep blue I saw in the sky that day.  There was not a cloud in the sky and there was not a single jet stream anywhere.  Things were different.  Reflecting on that day when so much life was lost and so much pain was felt, I think about so many who felt grief during those days and weeks following that terror.  I think about all of those who are still going through that grieving today as they have witnessed deaths associated with 9/11 through all of these years.  Things are different.

In this moment, sitting outside, I hear the planes flying overhead, I hear the birds singing their songs, I hear the insects making their many sounds, and I hear cars driving down the road.  I feel the breeze  blowing through the trees and the coolness of the morning air.  I see the beautiful sky with beautiful sunshine.  Things seem normal, but are they?  Through these fifteen years, God has shown through so many millions of people as they have reached out to help people who were affected by 9/11.  There have been so many giving of themselves financially, physically, and spiritually.  There have been so many who have been “Jesus” to someone in need.  Through these fifteen years, I believe there has been more light shown by God’s children to those in need than I have ever seen before.  This “Light of Jesus” has not stopped with 9/11 as we have seen more compassion and more love shared by strangers in all situations of need.  God was with us before that September 11 date fifteen years ago, God was with those who suffered through hurricanes, flooding, fire, and other tragedies in these years since.  And God is indeed with those in need today through His children who show His love and compassion by helping people in need.  So, are things normal?  Yes, because God has always been, is now, and will always be with his children.

Prayer:  Father, you are a compassionate and loving God and we stand amazed in Your love.  Thank you for giving so many sisters and brothers love to show compassion to those in need.  Be with us as we continue offering our love to those who have different needs today.  You are an awesome God.  Amen.

Prayer Focus:  Those who have gone through tragedy