Posts Tagged ‘God time’

joyMonday, November 1, 2021

Ezra 6

Joy and Dedication

We move further into scripture looking for stories of joy that continue to surprise us. To explore other stories, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter the word Joy in the blog search bar. You may also want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com to see how joy surprises you there. Today our story is taken from the Book of Ezra.

We dedicate buildings and highways, poems, novels and songs. We create solemn ceremonies and speak reverent words to remember the dead, the lost, and even the forgotten. In all of our endeavor to avoid past mistakes and to keep in mind past and present loved ones and sacred places, we will want to remember to also dedicate ourselves to service in God. For it is in this giving that we find eternal joy.

The people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. With joy they celebrated the festival of unleavened bread seven days; for the Lord had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel. (Ezra 6:16 & 22)

God says: I know that you appreciate all that your forbears have sacrificed for you, and that you also dedicate days and memorials to your many causes. But as you read these words in this moment of the time I have given to you, begin to dedicate yourself to the goodness I have planted within you. Take a step toward seeing a glimmer of goodness you find so difficult to encounter in your enemies. Step forward in a life of full and authentic dedication to creation. Commit to dedicating a few moments of each day to speaking and listening to me. In doing all of this you will find joy in the most surprising of times and places. This I promise to you.

joy candlesVisit Ezra 6 today and spend some moments among the verses. Listen for God’s voice to speak to you.

To learn more about Ezra and Nehemiah, spend time with the stories in these two books. Enter their names in the blog search bar and explore. Click on the images for other reflections. Or use the scripture link to compare different Bible versions of these verses. 

For a better understanding of these Books, go to: http://biblehub.com/dictionary/e/ezra-nehemiah.htm 

Image from: http://chrisaltrock.com/tag/joy/

For more about anxiety and joy, click on the image above or visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Carlo Dolci: The Angel Gabriel

Carlo Dolci: The Angel Gabriel

Luke 1:18-19

How Shall We Know This?

I am Gabriel who stands before God.  I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news.  

Gabriel appears to Daniel (Daniel 9:21), Zechariah (Luke 1:19) and Mary (Luke 1:26) to announce good news from God. We too want to hear words that lift our hearts as we manage the complexities and challenges of living.

God says: My angels bring you constant messages although they struggle to be heard amid the cacophony of your lives. If you are able to find a regular quiet time – even if for only a few moments each day – when you will draw apart to open the door of your heart to me, you will feel the presence of my angels. You will also feel my own presence within you. How shall you know this?  Only come to me . . . and you will know.

The words of Psalm 138 remind us: I thank you, Lord, with all my heart, you have heard the words of my mouth.  In the presence of the angels I will bless you . . . I thank you for your faithfulness and love  . . . You increased the strength of my soul . . . All earth’s kings shall thank you . . . They shall sing of the Lord’s ways. 

How shall we know that God is great?

St. Paul reminds the Colossians: Be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 

How shall we know? When we create time for God in our hectic lives, we will come to know.

Enter the word angels into the blog search bar and explore.

Image from: https://today.duke.edu/2017/08/medicis-painter-carlo-dolci

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Friday, July 10, 2020

images[9]Psalm 55:18

Morning, Noon and Night

Evening, morning and noon I will cry out in my distress, and God will hear my voice.

Like Judith and her maid who were accustomed to going out of the enemy camp at regular prayer intervals, we will escape the traps that await us.  Even more than this, in our regular communication with God we become conduits of God’s action on earth.

God says: I know how busy your days and nights are.  Do I not see all?  Did I not create you?  It brings me joy to be with you in prayer and it matters not if you bring me your sorrows or your joys.  All that matters to me is that you arrive in the evening, in the morning and at noon.  I do not ask that you neglect your work or your loved ones.  I ask that you pause and think of me, speak to, pray with me for even the briefest of moments.  I am always with you . . . but your prayer delights me . . . and I long to hear your voice.

God created Jesus as God’s Word and it is clear from this creation that communication is paramount to God.  Can we imagine a life lived in such constancy to God?  Can we imagine a life without God at all?  Let us consider how we might pause if only for a moment in the morning when we rise, at noon as we traverse our day, and in the evening as we lay our head on the pillow.  In this way we place ourselves in God’s hands so that we might complete God’s work.

For more information about Judith and her maid, enter the word Judith in the blog search bar and explore.

To read different translations of this verse, click on the citation above or go to: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2055:18&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB

For a Noontime reflection on how Psalm 55 and how God guides us when we are betrayed by an intimate companion, enter the words An Intimate Companion into the blog search bar. 

Image from: http://marashgirl.blogspot.com/2011/07/morning-noon-night-farewell-sagamore.html

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Luke 20:20-26: Craftiness

Monday, May 27, 2019

James Tissot: The Meal in the House of the Pharisee

Recognizing their craftiness, he said to them, “Show me . . .” [Yet] they were unable to trap him by something he might say before the people, and so amazed were they at his reply that they fell silent.

Craftiness approaches us from many angles and wearing many different kinds of shoes.  In our work and in our family life, particularly when we trust others from a sense of habit rather than from a discernment of a truth we see in them, we may fall into a trap which Jesus cleverly avoids in today’s reading.

When we operate from a source of good, we may be easily fooled by others when we speak in and for ourselves.

When we operate from a source of good, we will amaze our enemies when we speak in and for Christ.

In another place in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells us: When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.  For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you are to say.  (12:11 

In our sense of panic when we are attacked, we may automatically sink to the level of deception which has assailed us, thinking to outwit our opponents.  Or, we might put our fear on hold and call on God to give us the proper words that will amaze and silence our challengers.

The value of speaking with God morning, noon and night is this: When we are under siege – whether from a known enemy or a loved one – we will have a well-trained homing instinct, a ready portal, a clean and open conduit to God.  The answer we seek in desperation comes to us nearly unbidden so that we might amaze and silence those who seek our ruin or even our end.

As we travel through our days, moving from one activity to another with little time for introspection, we must take time to recognize and give thanks to the Spirit which keeps us free and holy.  It is this relationship which guides us in recognizing craftiness in others.  It is this relationship which guides us in recognizing what is Caesar’s and what is God’s.  And it this relationship which gives us the gift of sudden grace to recognize the difference between those who live in the world of deception, darkness and illusion and those who live in the wholeness and goodness of God.

A re-post from May 12, 2012.

Image from: http://cacina.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/carry-the-gospel-with-you-675/

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Exodus 33:7-23An Intimate Friend 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

This is the sort of relationship we look to have with God – one in which we speak to God and God replies immediately to our questions and requests as if God were a neighbor, relative or friend.  Yet this is the sort of relationship we have with God . . . we just find it difficult to see.

We have said frequently in our Noontime reflections that if we wish to hear and see God easily we must first reserve time for God each day for it is through daily petitions that we strengthen our bond with the Lord.  It is important to create a meeting tent where ever we are and where ever we go.  It is important to block out “God time” and “God place, even if they are mobile.  Because of the pressures of our schedule we may not be able to pause at precisely the same time each day, but we must find a time to sit in silence and to listen.  It is also impossible for us to be in the same place each day and so the image of a tent – a mobile structure – is apt.  We must create for ourselves, no matter where we are, a spot of stillness even in the busiest of places that we consecrate to the purpose of being in God’s presence.

Many of us have heard God distinctly in a crowded, busy city just as easily as we have on a deserted beach or hillside.  We have heard God’s voice, seen and felt God’s presence in the midst of work, as we rise from sleep, or in the silence of fervent prayer.

Where ever go, where ever we are, at any time, in any place . . . there is time and space for God.  Just so does God have time and space for us.  Just so does God descend from the heights to commune with us.  Just so is God our most intimate friend.  Let us remember to go out to meet this friend each day . . . always.

For more reflections on spending time with God as a friend . . . see the GOD TIME pages on this blog.

A re-post from October 26, 2011.

Images from: http://justkiddin.onslow.org/justkiddin/2011/03/friendship-is-a-two-sided-coin/

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Job 40-41Conversations

Saturday, August 25, 2018

This is the portion of the Book of Job where God finally speaks from out of the maelstrom.  Job thirsts for the answers to his poignant questions about his pain.  He asks the question we all ask: Why do the innocent so often suffer?  God’s answer is mysterious.  God enumerates the number of ways that we cannot possibly understand the plan, even if God were to communicate the divine economy to us.  This is why it is important to have constant conversations with God.  We need directions for every step of the road.

What I like most about chapter 40 is that God appears to have a sense of humor.  This makes me smile because I hope that in an eternal life there is much laughter.  It also reminds us that while we cannot discount or diminish suffering, we may want to try to smile throughout our passage as much as possible.

When we think about the size of behemoths, the strength of oxen, and the protection of a double corset, we realize that God deals in the maximum.  The thought that follows for me is this:  If God can create and handle all of these enormities . . . God can certainly handle with ease the problems I lay at God’s feet each day. 

We know that Job is restored in all that he was, and all that he had; he receives the reward of the faithful.

Paul asks the rhetorical question in Romans 11:34Who has known the mind of the Lord?  Who has been its counselor?  He reminds us in 1 Corinthians 1:10 that through Christ we might become perfectly united thought and  mind.  In the second chapter, verses 9-16, he reminds us that Eye has not seen and ear has not heard the goodness God has prepared for those who love him, and that we are to join one another so that we might have the mind of Christ.

When we love someone, we come together.  We communicate with those we care about; we invest time in understanding them and in listening to them.  This is what God seeks in relationship with us.  It is what we seek in relationship with God.

We have said this frequently in our Noontime reflections: Let us find time several times a day to put all else aside – even if for only five minutes – to reserve time for just GodWe send him our petitions constantly and we ask for answers.  Perhaps he is speaking but we cannot hear.  If we shut out the world to listen with our heart and mind and soul . . . we may be happily surprised to hear that our deepest questions have complex answers . . . which God provides to us a bit at a time.  Let us make time just for God.   

A Favorite from May 4, 2009.

Image from http://rickconlow.com/communicate-difficult-conversations/ 

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James 5:16-18: Our Common Practice

Wednesday, November 11, 2015prayer

Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.

God says: Be honest with one another and you will find depths of rich love you have not taken in to account. Speak gently with one another and you will find strength in abundance. Make it your habit to set out each morning to do only what is good and holy and just. Pause at noon to check in with me as you day continues to unwind. Return home each evening and offer me all of your works – both the good and the not so good. If you have a restless night, spend time in prayer with me and I will bring you rest. Through your days and nights stay with me as your common practice and see what wonders I can perform in and through you.

When we make a list of all we wish to do, have many of the items involve God? When we make a list of our accomplishments, how many can we say embrace God? When we examine our relationships with others . . . how many show a loving and nurturing harvest for God?

Enter the words God Time in the blog search bar and as we explore other posts we might consider how much time we spend with our creator as our common practice.


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