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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"Being Still"

Today's snowscape
Today's snowscape

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress" (Psalm 46:10,11).

Yesterday we sure received an interesting call. I picked up the phone and a lady asked if this was a "prayer line".  I said "No, but we are people that pray, may we help you?" She went on and told me how discouraged she was and so I asked Brooksyne to speak to her. I thought she was local but she lived in Illinois and found our number on a sheet of paper. She did not know about our web ministry so we really have no idea how she ever got our number. Brooksyne listened to her as she shared about her difficulties, gave some counsel and then prayed with her.

Some 125 years ago a contemporary song was written that has become a classic hymn of the church.  I am sure many of you have sung it and would quickly recognize it if I were to identify the title or the chorus.  But there are two very descriptive phrases found in the body of the hymn that particularly intrigue me; "not a surge of worry" and "not a blast of hurry".

At times when my focus is displaced and my trust lowered I am beset by worries.  Sometimes worries do come on like a surge.  In spite of all the Scriptural promises I have committed to memory on this subject I will sometimes lapse and temporarily lose the peace of God. 

At other times I experience the "blast of hurry" in stress.  Several important projects vie for my attention.  I sense my blood pressure rising and a tightening around my chest.  My mind races in undisciplined thinking which cripples me in taking appropriate action and can even bring on a headache. 

The daily verse is such a spiritual gem.  The entire Psalm needs to be read to get the full sense.  But verse 10 is in quotes.  The eternal immutable God is speaking. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."  That statement is not merely a one-time assertion but is absolutely always true.  As we read it today may we hear God's voice speaking to us through sacred Scripture.

The latter part of the selection is the Psalmist's response to this truth followed by his declaration of faith. "The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."

The key is being in a state of stillness based upon our knowledge that the One we have submitted to is indeed God and He will be exalted. The hymn portion quoted above is from Frances Havergal's hymn "Like A River Glorious" and the chorus expresses this glorious truth.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest.
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

It is my prayer that each of us would find God's peace and rest as our hearts and minds are stayed upon Him today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Father, I regularly come to You asking for peace regarding situations that I don't understand or have no personal ability to change.  It's so often that troubling circumstances  capture my emotions and rob me of the peace promised to those who place their trust in You. Help me not to be tossed about by the changing circumstances of my life, but to be steadfast as my mind is intentionally fixed upon You.  Only then will I know true life sustaining peace.

Due to the snow we received overnight school was delayed for two hours and Ester ended our podcast with a short statement of commitment and she wanted me to especially share this.

What's this?
Voice mail ministry!
I had an interesting ministry experience yesterday. I received a call from an Amish man who receives these email messages at work. He was curious about my Amish neighbors I periodically reference in this series and wondered if he might know them. He also mentioned that he was unable to listen to the music on the website but would like to. We came up with a very creative solution. He requested that I call him and place the song on his voice mail. I did and it worked!  When I mentioned it to our neighbors in a phone conversation they requested I do it for them as well.  So I guess I have a new means of delivering ministry content!

Joel and Adrienne are a young couple who served with us in our church in New England while attending Bible College. They both have a strong call to mission service and are serving as missionaries to Mozambique, Africa. Here's a video that shows their ministry along with a song that asks each of us a question.

Psalm 46  Audio

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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