October 30

            In today’s world, many voices are clamoring for our attention, and the loudest ones usually claim it. We are being constantly bombarded by voices from politics, news, advertising, religion, entertainment… it’s a neverending stream, and it’s easy for us to get distracted from our seemingly humdrum daily lives. Amid the cacophony, we often get so turned around that we can barely tell to whom we are supposed to listen.
            But as the story of Elijah reminds us, while he was hiding from Queen Jezebel, God sent an earthquake, a violent wind, and a firestorm, but the voice of God was not present in any of those. It was only after things quieted down that Elijah heard the still, small voice of God, reminding Elijah that no matter how wild things seemed to be, all he had to do was listen, not to the loudness, but to the stillness. Then, and only then, did he hear the voice of God.

            Whenever the voices get so overwhelming to us that we feel as though we cannot possibly take any more, we would do well to remember the exhortation in Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God,” for it is only in deliberately tuning out the cacophony of voices in our lives that we will be able to hear the sweetness, the gentleness that is our Maker’s voice. If we work at it, we will hear that voice again.


October 24

Do you ever think, "I'm going to enjoy life once I get through this difficult time"? You may be experiencing a health problem, loss of job, divorce, or some other disappointment. During these times, we tend to focus on our circumstances. When we do so, we are likely to miss God working through us and others. There are moments of joy, no matter the circumstances. A friend calls when you are struggling with a problem. Your neighbor shows up on your doorstep with a beautiful bouquet of flowers from her garden. Another friend bakes an extra pie when she bakes for her family and brings it to you. The man at Jiffy Lube says he is praying for you. A beautiful rainbow appears after a storm. A fragile pretty flower is blooming in the sidewalk crack. We can experience joy even during the tough times because God has given us these special moments. If we focus on God, we are more apt to experience these moments of joy.

Dear Father, Thank you for blessing us with these special moments of  joy. Help us to focus on you and not on our circumstances. Amen

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Roman 15:13(NIV)


October 16

This time of year it seems we pay more attention to trees. They are there all year round, but in the fall, they catch our attention with their brilliant colors and their swirling leaves in the air. Trees are sacred and very spiritual to me.  I like to touch their rough bark, feel the texture of their leaves and enjoy their fragrance. Being in the woods surrounded by trees, brings me peace and brings me closer to the presence of God. I am sitting here right now with my back door open listening to the wind blow through the leaves on the trees reminding me of the Holy Spirits’s presence. Trees can teach us important lessons like swaying in the wind, persevering, keeping our roots firmly planted and embracing the changing seasons, to mention a few. I find it meditative to just sit still and watch how a tree sways in the wind, bending ever so slightly and not resisting. If only I could sway like that when winds blow into my life! 
Many trees have become symbols of survival. One such tree is the lone elm tree that survived the Oklahoma bombing in 1995 and still stands. It was almost cut down due to the damage it took in the blast, but the community embraced it as part of the healing process and named it “Survivor Tree” and felt it represented a symbol of survival and the power to overcome tragedy. Today, seeds from that tree are taken to a nursery and grown into seedlings and distributed across the country to spread hope. And doesn’t that symbolize what we are to do as followers of Christ , spread hope? Yet, one more lesson to be learned from trees.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:3 (NLT)

Creator of all things, we thank you for the beauty of trees and for the lessons of strength that they teach us. Amen.