Tag Archives: Dead space

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Secrecy

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Secrecy

by Janis Cox

Secrecy

I have been writing about Dead Space – Solitude; Dead Space – Silence.

In Mark Buchanan’s book, Your God is Too Safe, I have been reading a chapter called “Leave Yourself Alone”. I am learning the two disciplines of solitude and silence.

Today is the last of these dead space disciplines – Secrecy.

Either we do good things in order to be seen by others, or we do them in order to bring praise to God (Your God is Too Safe, Mark Buchanan, page 184).

OUCH.

Our lives are a part of God’s plan. And God’s plan is to redeem His people. He is battling Satan every minute. We are part of this drama.

Jesus tells us many times to be humble.

Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them (Matthew 6:1, NIV).

A hard lesson – but learned through continuous communion with God – in prayer.

We need to become less so God can become more.

God thinks what I do when no one else is watching is pretty important.
Time alone can seem so inconsequential. That’s why we can fill it so easily with seemingly harmless activities … But God sees it all. Our heavenly Father sees what we do in secret. Meditating on that consistently is bound to lead to the fear of the Lord (from a post called What We Do in Secret).

Prayer:

Help us Lord to remember to not boast. Help us to remember that You see our every move. Help us to spend time with You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Silence

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Silence

by Janis Cox

wieliczka salt mine

wieliczka salt mine (Photo credit: sama sama – massa)

Last week I wrote the first in a series of Dead Space – Solitude.

I practiced what I wrote last week. I took time away from the computer, from my husband and I spent time with Jesus. Jesus and I together. Heavenly.

This week I want to look at another dead space – silence.

Oh my – my mind is never silent. How about yours? I talk a lot when I have a willing audience. I am impatient to say my thoughts.

I need this discipline of silence – this dead space
where God can draw closer and I can be with Him. (tweet this)

Do we speak when we should? Are we quiet when we need to be?

Here is one example how my words got me into trouble:

I got lost in the Salt Mines in Krakow, Poland. We were on a tour of the Salt Mines with a group. We had taken a break and were told we would be leaving in about 10 minutes. I quickly ate an apple and then told my hubby I had to use the washroom.

When I returned from the washroom – empty – the room was empty of my group. No husband. No tour guide. Frustration. Panic. Anger.

I scurried around to find an English speaking person to find out if they knew where my tour was headed. I was told I could join another group. No – that was not going to happen – the bus might leave without me. So I asked again and was told that they thought the tour went down the stairs.

Breathing heavily (we were down over 300 feet in the mine), I climbed down many stairs, turned a few bends, and then I saw at the end of the tunnel – my husband and the group.

So – what do I do? I let my emotions get the better of me – and fly off with an accusation.

“Why didn’t you wait for me, or tell the tour guide I was missing.”

Of course, my hubby’s reaction was also accusatory.

“You knew we were leaving. You have to watch and keep with the group. No I wasn’t going to watch out for you. You are on your own.”

Me – I was hurt, angry, and my words spewed forth. I wrecked the rest of the tour for myself and maybe my hubby as I clammed up tight and shuffled along.

What happened? Because I spoke out of my emotions now I was more upset. Silence would have been better. I could have prayed for wisdom. I could have breathed a sigh of relief that I found them. I could have asked Jesus for help with my feelings.

“It’s best to speak when tempted for selfish reasons to be silent, and it’s best to be silent when tempted for selfish reasons to speak” (Mark Buchanan, You God is Too Safe, page 182).

There you have it – I spoke for selfish reasons. I was hurt, angry and wanted some attention. I wanted him to say, “sorry, I shouldn’t have been so unthoughtful”. But he was doing his own thing – exactly how he always would. I know my husband – for 42 years I should have known better.

Guilty! I was guilty.

Silence is the room we create for the searching of God,
where we hear His voice and follow (Your God is Too Safe, Buchanan).
(tweet this)

I admit I am working on this one. What about you? Can you remember to be silent – when you need to be.

Prayer:

Help us to be silent when we need to be. Help us to speak out when we need to. Remind me to spend time with You, Jesus. You centre us. You keep us focused on You. In Your name, we pray. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Solitude – Part 1

Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Solitude – Part 1

by Janis Cox

Jesus Goes Up Alone onto a Mountain to Pray

Jesus Goes Up Alone onto a Mountain to Pray (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In reading a chapter called “Leave Yourself Alone” in a book called Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan, I was captivated by three spiritual disciplines – Solitude, Silence and Secrecy.

I will try to tell you what I have learned in three sessions. Today’s is Solitude.

“The loss of dead space is killing us, inch by noisy inch” (page 176, Your God is Too Safe).

Mark talks about giving ourselves time for solitude – and in those moments Jesus can increase and we can decrease.

Jesus-Calling-0826

Painted by Janis Cox for Sunday Stillness at www.janiscox.com

Jesus sought solitude.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35, NIV).

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place (Mark 6:32, NIV).

Jesus was slow.

This is so unlike me. I move quickly. I act quickly. I need to S-L-O-W down.

Solitude – is a space for listening.

Solitude – is not aloneness.

Solitude – this is where we meet God.

If we only talk to God and do not listen we may never hear from Him.
(tweet this)

Can I go slower and do more? I believe God gives us that ability. Let’s take time for some solitude this week and see what happens.

Prayer:

Father,

we know that to hear from you we need to slow down, we need to stop and we need solitude. Please help us to find that time in the coming week so we get even closer to You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.