Shut The Door On Your Device

My Phone Is Not My Friend

My phone usually sits across the bedroom from me while I sleep. These days, I often keep it in another room other than our bedroom at night, at my wife’s request. But I can’t only blame her for the forced device dismissal from our sacred space. My wife is spiritually smarter than I am; she knows the stealing power that lives in that small, innocent device.

Photo credit: Jonas Lee via Unsplash

I might lean toward believing all that hooey about the health risks of mobile phones – you know, those murky reports about phones emitting a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation that can be absorbed by body tissues located near the phone? You know, that nonsense.

Lead From The Lightning

Worship is a storm front; lead from the lightning

Dark skies are the perfect canvas for one of the most powerful meteorological phenomena we know – lightning. And the majesty of lightning occurs when something unseen, but no less powerful, is at work behind the scenes. The same is true in worship.

Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles.
Psalm 97:2-4 (NIV)

We’ve all seen it in a dark, stormy sky, and no matter how many times it makes an appearance, every one of us is filled with some degree of amazement. It’s a creative flash never appearing the same way twice, a discharge of potent electrical force. And it can crack a tree, strike fire to a building, or simply appear like Grace, as a spectacle for the dazzled eye.

It is lightning, and lighting is the result of something unseen happening that leads to its appearance. A meteorological phenomena happens when two masses of air, of different densities and temperatures, come crashing into one another. The result is a sign, a wonder, a physical glimpse of what is going on in the atmosphere.

A Song Makes You Feel A Thought

Felt Thoughts Are Tripwires For Change

Have you ever found your mood altered after exuberantly singing a favorite song? In worship, it’s more than a feeling at work when we’re singing captivating melodies and breathing out words dense with truth. Songs are felt thoughts – and they can literally change us.

| Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash |

God is my strength, God is my song, and, yes! God is my salvation. 
Exodus 15:2 (The Message)

Reflection

The great lyricist E.Y. Harburg once said, “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.

When it comes to the formative power of worship in the life of the Christian, no words ever rang more true.

Your New Mother Tongue Of Thankfulness

Every Virtue Comes By Practice

Enter with the password: “Thank you!” Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him. For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.  Psalm 100:4-5 (The Message)

Photo by [Mark Rasmuson on Unsplash]

The daily gifts of God are many – vibrant, lush, and ever present symbols of His generosity.

Finding ourselves in the middle of such lavish generosity we can, by practicing regular rhythms of gratefulness, begin to train ourselves to notice the gifts God is constantly strewing across the path of our lives with more regularity and deeper appreciation. 

The Hurry In Me

A Spiritual Formation Moment

Have you been slowed down lately? Paused by a challenge that weighs heavy on you as an unwelcome burden – a whole body drag that sets your pace slow to slower to slower still?

Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

Our home has become a portal for fresh remembering of an ancient truth in recent days.

Over a period of just a few months, my energetic and athletic wife began to experience strange neurological symptoms. Slowly, gradually, those symptoms led her a prone position for the bulk of every sunrise to sunset.

Multiple doctors were baffled, and after finer testing, we received a diagnosis that she is in a tussle with a small microbe in her system. Her battle, our battle, is named chronic Lyme disease.

For the past years, we have designed our lives to have a good amount of breathing space within; we’ve learned a few lessons over the years that have instilled in us a commitment to maintain an unrushed pace, renewing rhythms, and quiet motions through precious days.

But this turn of the times has pushed us farther on the road to rest than we have ever been before.

I wake, I work, I cook meals, I clean (with help), and I even do some gardening (a favorite hobby of my country-blooded wife). I do all these tasks slowly, allowing the hours to pass until sleep comes to call.

My active wife now lays quietly 10-12 hours a day, does a task or two as able, feels poorly, takes care of herself, talks to friends, trusts her Lord for healing, and wrestles through sleep.

Dallas Willard once said that the key to spiritual maturity is to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry” from your life. Often the greatest challenges that come our way are holy brakes that silently, but surely, slow us to a more whole and considered existence.

Lean into the losses halting hurry in your own life. Lean toward them as they rise like flowers bending toward the sun. Find God in those losses, and allow the resistance to slow you – slow you like a heavy wind that holds you even while you are leaning in and walking against its unseen current.

A Prayer

Spirit of God, the “rush I’m in” is actually the “rush in me.” Ruthlessly drive out that rush from my spirit, that hurry from my heart, and any propensity that remains in me to move through time dismissing details and missing miracles on the path. I would learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

In Jesus’ slowing, centering Name,

Amen.

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