Tag Archives: silence

Be Silent – And Remember

Be Silent and Remember

Tomorrow is Remembrance day. We need to spend at least 2 minutes in silence listening to the Lord’s voice about this day. What are His thoughts? What does He want you to remember?

Today is 5-minute Friday. The clock is set and I am ready to write for 5 minutes. 5-Minute Friday is the only time that I write directly into my computer. I always write in a notebook and then transfer my thoughts to my blog. So no editing..

Timer set: GO

I remember as a child having Remembrance Day services in our school. Very hushed. We filed in as quietly as we could and sat down. There were readings and some music (sometimes bagpipes). We were told about what war was and how and why our country fought for the freedom of all mankind.

silence

My Dad was a captain in the World War II. He landed on Juno Beach in the first wave across the sea. I can’t imagine the feeling – sea sickness, terror. My dad never felt sick. I believe he rested all his thoughts on Jesus. He went from one minute to the next.

But he returned home. Found my Mom. Got married and had 2 daughters. He didn’t talk much about that day.

silence

But I am sure that silence was a welcome reprieve from all the gun fire.

I believe that he found peace in that silence and knew God was there with them.

God was there. Crying with them. Struggling with them.

I always get teary eyed at this time of year. I remember all that those men did. I think of the wives, and mothers at home – waiting.

The silence of waiting – not knowing.

That must have been awful. But I do believe that God brought peace to those women. If He could bring peace to my Dad – then peace can be found in any situation.

Do you take time to have silence before God? It is essential to finding peace. Try it.

……

Timer went. Lots more to have said.

But sometimes silence is better.

Remember tomorrow to take a moment and be quiet before God for all those who served before and serve now for our freedom.

As a child we recited In Flanders Fields by Major John McCrae. I can still say this from memory.

Here it is for you now:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Let us remember. Let us never forget.

My pictures today are done in watercolour pencil crayons. I am taking a course in pencil crayons and need to buy some. But I tried it with watercolour pencils. My background was an old piece of watercolour – background, on 140 pound watercolour paper. It is not smooth. It’s supposed to be smooth for pencil crayons. But I learned a lot. Pencil crayons is all about LAYERS. More on that in another post.

Here are the first 2 versions before I used the water on the last one.

silence silence

Have you tried pencil crayons? Which version of this poppy do you like?

May you remember on November 11 to stop for 2 minutes of silence.

Here are a few other posts about the Poppy.

The Poppy

silence

A Bible Journaling about the Poppy

How to Remember Remembrance Day

silence

Early Bible Journaling

Blessings

Janis

 

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need

#UTCOP – How Can I Have a Conversation with God?

#UTCOP – How Can I Have a Conversation with God?

by Joy Lenton

how-can-i-have-a-conversation-with-God

Have you ever thought that you wouldn’t bother God with your concerns?

Maybe they feel too small or huge to hand over to Him and you wonder if it might be wasting His time; and isn’t He just too busy taking care of really important things/people to be free to take care of me? Thankfully, no and no.

Nothing matters more to our loving heavenly Father
than being available to us ~ all of the time.

There are no constraints. No limits to His love, patience, kindness and compassion. We can take every concern to Him in prayer and be reassured that He hears, will take it seriously and respond appropriately.

There are promises in His word reminding us of God’s faithfulness, steadfastness and fatherly care, yet we so often feel we cannot share This _ fill in the blank.. with Him. Maybe shame or fear hold us back, or anxiety about how to pray and what to say. Because we are apt to forget how much He loves us, how we are no surprise to our Creator, how He has paid the price to set us free from the worst of ourselves to become our best true selves in Christ.

Sometimes we get lost in the silence and fail to listen for the gentle whispered reply. Sometimes we draw back because prayers seem to go unanswered and we are just too hurt to pray again. Sometimes God speaks clearly but we don’t like what He is saying.

No matter the cause, God wants us to see prayer as vital and intrinsic,
simple and natural to our lives as breathing.

Long words and pious speech are not necessary. We can say nothing or chat just as we would to our best friend, because that’s just what He is. In everyday conversation with those we love and are comfortable around there will be times of sitting in a companionable silence, times of non-stop exuberant chatter, times of leaning on the other where tears alone speak volumes. So it is with God.

He invites us to come just as we are.

To share our moments and our days, be caught up in His will and ways, and to let our hearts break with what breaks His. We have all of heaven’s resources at our disposal, Holy Spirit interceding for us when words fail, an alertly attentive Father above whose heart spills with tremendous grace and love, so what’s stopping us?

Come to Him today.

He won’t rebuke you for any delay but He will welcome you and me with arms wide open.

Prayer:

Father, forgive us for making prayer a thing to fear, a chore, ritual or dutiful habit rather than a conversation with The One who loves us beyond measure and rejoices over us with singing. Help us to make time to talk to you and time for you to speak to us, knowing our lives will be greatly enriched, our journey of life and faith enhanced and our hearts rewarded by peace and joy for every minute we offer to you. Amen.

Tweetables:

 God invites us to come just as we are. (tweet this)

God wants us to see prayer as vital and intrinsic, simple and natural. (tweet this)

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

 

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.

CAN VISUALIZATION HELP YOU PRAY?

Can Visualization Help You Pray?

by Janis Cox

GOD

Being able to see (and that doesn’t have to be seeing with your eyes) can make us aware of God.

Have we lost the ability to visualize God?

“One of the reasons for our sense of futility in prayer is that we have lost our power to visualize” (Oswald Chambers, February 10). Tweet this.

I looked at what could distract me from seeing God:

  •   My daily life – the regular every day things, eating, socializing and my to-do lists.
  •  The world’s delectable distractions – TV, movies, books.
  •   Money – to make it; to spend it – lots of choices on where to spend the money

Now I want to make it clear that I don’t mean to imply that God isn’t in our daily lives. But to truly focus on Him, I believe I need to visualize myself in His Presence. There needs to be a daily dedicated time in His Presence.

Now what can help me make this connection with God.

  • The earth as He made it – nature
  • His people

Here is how I can truly focus on God:

Quiet Morning Reflection

I find my best time of speaking and listening to God is the first thing in the morning. It is quiet. There are NO distractions. I can shut my eyes. I can speak out loud or in my head and the be quiet. I can feel His Presence. It takes work, concentration and focus. This can work.

A Quiet Walk Alone in Nature

Other times I find that I can take a quiet walk by myself – looking around, breathing in His Spirit, singing, and talking to Him.

What about you? How and where do you visualize God?

I love the praise song Awakening sung by Chris Tomlin.

Related articles

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. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive has published Tadeo Turtle. See more information at Jan’s Website.