Thursday, November 15, 2018

totally listening

Time is relative, some days feel quicker than others. In fact, some seasons feel quicker than others. As I move ahead with the year, parts of my brain are still remembering things that I no longer need to hold onto: the jobs I hadn't gotten around to last summer, the blender I wanted to get so we could make smoothies (we have since purchased an all in one food processor and blender that makes great smoothies), the blog post I meant to write. In fact, when I checked today I was surprised to note that the last Missionheart blog was written before Winter, and owing to the fact it is now Spring, a whole season has passed without any action on my behalf to write another blog entry. Yet part of me was stuck there, in May, thinking I'll write another post soon.

Do you ever find yourself running as fast as you can, all the time, without a chance for anything to catch up to you. Perhaps you're going so fast for that very reason. Or perhaps you feel the need to do something, anything, all the time, because the world is a hurried and unsettled place, and all the injustices and wars and organisation that is needed will never get any better unless you fix it? If this isn't you, if you don't struggle with this, then don't let me cast that net onto you, but if it is then listen to Psalm 46. I say listen purposefully because if you're running then you can't read a Psalm (and if you just thought that you bet you could, then this article is definitely for you). Go on!

Why do we need to be still? Why do we need to know that God is God? We need to be still, because we have run so fast that we have left pieces of ourselves behind, and some of those pieces are God given gifts and abilities which He uses to benefit His plans. If you're trying to fix things it might be good to have all of your resources where you can find them. And we need to be still so that God can untangle us from the net. God being God is not dependant on us, whether we are still or not, but until we understand that it is God who stops wars, and God who mends broken things, we will feel the need to rush up again and start running.

God spoke to me last night about being still. I was listening to the radio and the preacher spoke words I knew and had practised, and they were specifically for me. Be still. Stop. Nothing else. Listen. So I've been trying, funny how hard it is to stop.

What has God been saying to you lately? Where have you left part of yourself? Will you let Him......?

Add a comment Add a comment
Who do you let encourage you?"Are you drinking much at the moment?”
“Yeah.”
“Me too......It’s good for you.”
“Yeah, you need a bit.”

A couple of guys were visiting our “Drop In” lunch, and sat just outside the door, drinking coffee while I washed the dishes. For some people, our small Drop In space is more about having a place to be still than getting a feed. It’s a place to escape the problems of the day for an hour or two, with friendly conversation if you feel sociable, or a sleep on the couch if you need it. As I listened to the guys encourage each other in the art of pretending to enjoy alcoholism, I realised that our attitude to our struggles is defined by with whom we choose to share. It is easy to find someone who will let you off the hook, and help you find excuses for not trying to change. However this sort of friendship is no more friendship than a doctor is doing his job by leaving a skin cancer alone. “What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words” (Proverbs 18:21). I wished that I could have been a part of the conversation that was happening outside the Drop In door, but I hardly knew the guys, and they had not invited me to offer an opinion. They had chosen to sit outside by themselves, and were not really looking for a different point of view.

At Missionheart we are privileged to be invited to listen to stories of struggle, to pray with someone and to see God work healing and hope into their life. It is a joy to spend time with people as they work through issues; God is amazing and generous. However, when someone chooses to stop talking to the people who are supporting them, and avoids us, it is always a sign that they do not want to hear anymore about letting God be in charge. They know that we will tell them the choices they are making are destructive. They know we will offer to listen, and to help, and to pray. And they know that God will surely make it uncomfortable for them to remain in destruction.

When I find myself searching out someone to back up my excuses I know it is time to pray. Often, all it takes is for me to be honest with God about my problem, and He shows me the way through. When a friend invites me to be a part of their life, I hope to remember the consequences of my words, and speak preservation into their life.

Add a comment Add a comment

The other week we explored the idea of focusing on things worthy of our attention, and not hanging out in the toilet. Thanks for all the feedback - to those I offended and who were able to take a stand and chose to become ex-toilet dwellers - well done, I'm proud opf you, keep it up. For those who are wondering what this ex-toilet dweller stuff is about - please let me briefly explain. Sometimes because bad stuff happenes in life we find ourselves having to deal with it (lets call it a visit to the toilet) a great problem arrises however when this becomes our focus in life - all we focus on is the crap, the unfairness, the mistakes and failures, and our wounding or loss. (Let call this toilet dwelling). Although these things need our attention they are not to be the major focus of our life, and defiately not the entire focus of life (lets see this as staying in the toilet and playing in it. This is not healthy living - flush and get out - who wants to shake hands with the toilet dweller?). Philipians 4 tells us to focus on things worthy of our honour and praise. Yes we face problems and pain and need to visit the toilet, sorry for dragging out the allegory, but we are not the some total of our mistakes and failures or of our pain and loss. We were created for greatness and fearfully and wonderfully made. There are things to celebrate, things worthy of giving our lives to, people needing to know of the hope and love and kingdom of our forever king - Jesus... What are you investing your life in? Don't be a toilet dweller. Get up, press the flush button, wash your hands and step out into what you were made for, enjoy being who you really are - it is good - how do I know? Well as an ex-toilet dweller let me say life is better out here - I spend the minimum time necessary in the toilet and the maximum time I can elsewhere. Your are fearfully and wonderfully made, created for good works, life and joy. If you don't believe me - ask God... I dare you! 

Add a comment Add a comment

Find us on:

Client Section