Be Still, Experience Silence

If we cannot silence our thoughts, we cannot hear God. He won’t compete for our attention.

~Lisa Blair

Our lives are busy, we run to and fro trying not to miss a step. Our minds race, we never experience being still. One of my earlier posts shared that we can either learn to be still or as I once told my employees and students, we can suffer mandatory volunteerism. God gave me multiple opportunities but I did not take Him seriously. I gave one excuse after another. Finally, like any good Father, He took command and placed me in time out. He centered me in a place to be still, retirement, and told me to be still and listen to His quiet, still, voice.

God cannot lead us if we don’t take time to listen and converse with Him. He cannot converse with us if our minds don’t shutdown and release the static. You know, this type of static.

Stillness is the platform for establishing our relationship with our Lord. The scripture Psalm 46:10 reads, ‘Be Still and know that I am God’. There it is plan and simple, yet, so difficult to comprehend in a world were silence no longer exists.

This poem shares the concept of silence and how impactful conversations with God are on our lives.

Kickstart A Conversation With God. YouVersion. Bible.com

Take time everyday for the next two weeks and learn to converse with God. Listen to what He has to say about your life and the steps that will lead you down your destiny pathway.  You will be renewed and no longer bound by self-talk, social media, and purposeless thoughts. You will experience love greater than you can imagine, peace greater that you thought possible, and a sense of who you are in Christ.

Video – Kickstart A Conversation With God. YouVersion. Bible.com

Video – YouTube.com, dalesnale, Nov. 2, 2012

Image – Google Images, faithhopelove1cor13

Perfect Peace

Perfect peace can be yours. It’s a process.

~Lisa Blair
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Perfect Peace is yours. It’s a gift from God. Perfect peace is what we strive for, a calm greater than our understanding, a warmth like a mother’s womb, a knowing of intimacy greater than any experience we’ve ever had. Keep your eye on God and pray in quiet to hear His voice and feel His presence.

Mercy and Grace In That Order

There is an order that eventuates in receiving God’s mercy and grace. They are not interchangeable.

~ Lisa Blair
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The Inseparability of Grace and Mercy –
hebrews4.org

God gives us His grace. His mercy is how He provides our request for help. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary (pp. 341) puts it this way:

Mercy is the act of God. Grace describes God’s attitude toward the lawbreaker and the rebel; mercy is His attitude toward those who are in distress.

God’s purpose for extending His grace and mercy upon us is to provide a means of salvation. God’s grace must always precede mercy. Only the forgiven can be blessed with God’s mercy.

Mercy is through the everlasting covenant God made with David, particularly pardoning mercy, and mercies that are refreshed everyday. We must approach God boldly without any fear or doubt. Mercy is ours each day. When in prayer, remind God of the covenant and ask for daily mercies. Mercy is like a daily vitamin, your body must be replenished each day, just as your being is through daily mercies.

The commentary from Barnes Notes, BibleHub.com, reads, “we may obtain mercy – this is what comes first. We need pardon – as the first thing when we come to God. We are guilty and self-condemned – our first cry should be for mercy.” Those who understand their need for forgiveness are best prepared to obtain God’s favor.

Finding grace, is finding favor, “strength, help, counsel, direction, support, for the various duties and trials of life. Even when pardoned, we need grace to keep us from sin and to aid us in the day of temptation..”

As Christians, we have the privilege of boldly coming before the throne, “we are sinful and need mercy; we are feeble, and need grace to help us. There is not a day of our lives in which we do not need pardon; not an hour in which we do not need grace.”

Easy way to remember – There is an order that eventuates in receiving God’s mercy and grace. They are not interchangeable.

Mercy is for past sins; grace for future work, trials, and resistance to temptation. (Vincent’s Word Studies, biblehub.com)

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The Trinity

God is a Trinity. There is only one God, but in the unity, there are three eternal, distinct yet equal beings.

~ C.C. RYRIE
Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible. 1984
Suzy Haynes, American Railway Travels. 2019

“He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
‭‭John‬ ‭1:2-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

St.Andrews Episcopal Church, Amarillo, Tx

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are always with us. In the beginning He, Jesus, was with God, long before they created the earth and all there is in it. Long before Christ came to earth to free us of our sins and demonstrate our walk. Long before God breathed life into us. Long before we came out of our mother’s womb. In Him, Jesus Christ was and is life and the light of men. This light shines down on us and because Christ was crucified, bore our sins, rose, and returned to heaven on the third day leaving His spirit to dwell in each of us; his light dwells in us, not just around us. The Holy Spirit completes the Trinity and as a result believer’s have been delivered from sin and its consequences through Salvation.

So go forth this day in the light. Be the bellwether of good cheer. Be kind, thoughtful, trustworthy, honest, respectful and in control. Do not allow the woes of the day affect you and beat you down. Speak to all things saying, “this is the day the Lord has made, I am glad and will rejoice in it.” Psalms 118:24 (paraphrased)

In closing, I want to impress that it is important to teach our children what the scriptures mean and how they impact their lives day-to-day. It is never to early to begin digesting the Word and applying it to our lives. Those who spend time teaching their children the Word are preparing Young Christian Warriors to become mature adults sharing the light in an uncertain world.

Praise be our Lord.

The Term Fear Is Contextualized

Worldly terms do not always express the same meaning when used biblically. Fear is one such term.

~Lisa Blair
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When we were young, we were taught to fear the things that could harm us. Children’s stories were often set around monsters in the night, alien attacks, and sea creatures. Our parents and teachers taught us strangers were to be feared to ensure we were not kidnapped or harmed. Our nation’s leaders spoke of international enemies, I grew up in the Cold War when our leader’s told us our enemies were hell-bent on destroying our nation, and so we feared them too. Nationalists around the world are identifying people to fear, fear the Blacks, the Jews, fear Muslims, Mexicans, South Americans, and anyone that is not White. Our understanding and the context of the word fear created feelings triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined (Mayo Clinic). Psychology Today reports that ‘fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger, it has strong roots in human evolution. If people didn’t feel fear, they couldn’t protect themselves from legitimate threats.’ In an article entitled, Very Well Mind, fear is identified as a primal human emotion, that has physiological and emotional responses. So, as a child, I connotated fear with something unpleasant and unwelcome, causing emotional pain,  something to run from, not to.

The word ’fear’ can be a misleading word. I know that this word created a sense of discomfort for me. I recall thinking why should I be afraid of a loving God? It did not make sense. Our God is a good, a loving and protective God. We can call upon in good times and bad. He calms us in times of trepidation. He is our Father. As I grew older and matured as a Christian, and studied biblical dictionaries and read commentaries, I discovered that the word was not misleading but was a contextual term. It’s definition differed depending upon whether we seek clarity through the worlds dictionaries or biblical dictionaries.

I, like many of you, attended Sunday School, and when the teachers’ shared, we should fear the Lord, I misunderstood and took the word to mean the type of fear we learned about every day, worldly fear which equated to danger. As children would say, scary fear. I’ve since learned that worldly fear was designed to separate us from God. How can we love a God that we were told to fear and mistrust? The truth is, we were born into a spiritual war. Our parents thought that by warning us and intensifying our fear, they were keeping us safe as we grew up in a world of uncertainty. Satan created this dynamic to separate us from God. I fell prey on many levels early in life not seeing God as a loving Father and disavowing Him because He was intent upon destroying us (as seen in the Old Testament stories), and then as a parent failing to teach my children the distinction between worldly fear and Godly fear.

Now that we know what worldly fear means, let’s look at Godly fear. The fear of the Lord is defined as respect, awe, and submission. Godly fear becomes reverential in nature. I believe that this type of fear does not live in our consciousness until we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is not until we break through the veil that separates the natural world from the spiritual world that we can understand the word, fear, has two meanings. Our awareness manifests when we become a member of God’s family and begin to realize the magnitude of His being. As we become aware, our hearts and soul begin to reap wisdom. Wisdom is the foundational base on which we build our relationship with the Lord. There is one caveat, if you do not accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, then there is no salvation, no relationship, and hence worldly fear will cause you to remain afraid of the Lord. You will see him as a tyrant who, as in the Old Testament, smites those who disobey Him. I believe Solomon wrote in Proverbs, 4:7 NKJV,

Gill (BibleHub.com) explains ‘getting wisdom’ as gaining a greater degree of knowledge of Christ.

Eugene H. Merrill (BibleStudyTools.com) explained it like this: Fear of God also lies at the heart of successful living in the world. Wisdom literature makes it clear that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a fear equated with the “knowledge of the Holy One” ( Prov 9: 10; 1: 7; Psalm 111:10 ). To fear God is to know him and to know him is to fear him. Such healthy fear enables one to praise God ( Psalm 22: 23; Rev 14:7 ); to enjoy benefits and blessings at his hand ( Psalm 34:9 ; Psalms 103:11 Psalms 103:13 Psalms 103:17 ); to rest in peace and security ( Psalm 112:7-8 ); and to experience length of days ( Prov 10:27 ; 19:23 ). But fear of God also produces fear of wrath and judgment in those who do not know him or who refuse to serve him. There are, thus, two sides of the fear of the Lord — that which produces awe, reverence, and obedience, and that which causes one to cower in dread and terror in anticipation of his displeasure.

As adults, it is our responsibility to teach those around us the context of words as defined in Biblical dictionaries. Imagine how different your life may have been had you been told the difference between the two languages, and how to establish your life on the foundational base of wisdom. This is not to say that we should have regrets, we live and we learn. However, this knowledge should speak to our hearts explaining how we can spread the Good News.

The word ’fear’ Can be a misleading word. I know that this word created a sense of discomfort for me. I recall thinking why should I be afraid of a loving God? It did not make sense. The following romped through my head: our God is a good God, a loving God. We can call upon in good times and bad. He calms us in times of trepidation. He is our Father. As I grew older and matured as a Christian, studied biblical dictionaries and read commentaries, I discovered that the word was not misleading but was a contextual term. Its definition differed depending upon whether we seek clarity through the worlds dictionaries or biblical dictionaries.

Biblical dictionaries define fear as respect, awe and submission. Fear precedes our awareness of the magnitude of His being. And, once aware, it brings reverence, knowledge, and wisdom.

Wisdom is the foundational base on which we build our relationship with the Lord.

Images – Google Images

The term Fear is ContextualizedReferences – Biblehub.com; Biblestudytools.com; Vine’s Expository Dictionary

Your Calling Is Holy

We were called before the universe was spoken into being. We were created by God and called to be His people. Our calling is a Holy Calling.

~ Lisa Blair

“who had saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” II Timothy 1:9 NKJV

That is right, we have been called with a Holy calling, one that was made before the beginning of time. God envisioned this world and all in it before He created time before He created the universe. As children, many of us wrote stories about cosmos and its inhabitants, envisioning them to manifest our reality. We were enthralled by our own imaginations, but think, God created all that exists from His thoughts and being God, brought it in into being. Every minute detail manifested to become atoms, that became trees, land, water, nature, us. And, in doing so, He called us, giving us life and a desire to know Him better through His grace. To redeem us from the sin that destroyed Eden and His relationship with Adam and Eve who sinned against Him and stripped us, leaving us in a state of sin. We were called through His purpose to share that God sent His Son, Christ Jesus to save us from our sin nature and spread the Good News of our salvation. It is His gift of grace, not of our own doing.

GOD’S GIFT OF GRACE THROUGH THE DEATH OF HIS SON, CHRIST JESUS

Blessings

Family is our greatest blessing.

~ Lisa Blair

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God has blessed me with long life. I’m 67 today and counting. There is no better life in that I have a wonderful husband, three healthy sons, their spouses and significant others, and two Granddaughters. Working out at the gym right now, took a break to share, ‘our God is a good God’. Praise the Lord, I am grateful.

Deuteronomy 5:33Verse Concepts

“You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.

I know we all walk down the path into our destiny, the life God designed for us. We are not perfect but under construction; and for those of us with children have made mistakes while maturing as Christians. I’ve learned not to underestimate or doubt God’s purpose and GPS corrections. He welcomes all who seek Him. He is a God second chances and more. He knows our hearts.

Our children also walk with Him, make detours, but return to Him in due season.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
[a]And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

Continue in the Lord, He is with you and covers you, and your children as they grow into adulthood and old age.