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Sometimes I see better with my eyes closed.

 

Often times I speak with my mouth shut.

 

It’s possible for me to hear things in a silent room.

 

At times I feel things without touching anything.

 

I can taste the good without my tongue.

 

I can read without there being any words.

 

I go places without moving.

 

Sometimes I see the light in total darkness.

 

What can it all mean?

 

As followers of Jesus, disciples of Christ, spiritual beings, we can experience a lot, learn much and help others without our normal senses.  God graciously gives us supernatural senses.  Part of our life is lived in another dimension.  Thus:

 

Sometimes I see better with my eyes closed.  After my morning Bible reading I close my eyes, and God opens the eyes of my heart to see spiritual truths

 

Often times I speak with my mouth shut.  When my wife or a brother or sister come to me with a problem, with a heartache and pain, many times they just want me to listen to them.  They just want to get some stuff off their chest.  When I just listen, without trying to be a know-it-all, without uttering empty platitudes or trite sayings, I am silently speaking words of compassion, words of patience and words of peace

 

It is possible to hear things in a silent room.  In solitude and silence, I hear that still, small voice of our loving Heavenly Father saying to my soul, “James, I love you and I want you to be happy.”

 

At times I feel things without touching anything.  I feel joy cooperating with God, peace in my heart and contentment in my soul.

 

I can taste the good without my tongue.  I taste and see that the Lord is good, in my family, in nature and in my community of faith.

 

I can read without there being any words.  I read happiness in the laughter of the children, at the home for needy children, where there used to be tears and sadness.

 

I go places without moving.  I am transported to the foot of the cross when I need forgiveness and into the arms of Jesus when celebrating communion.

 

Sometimes I see light in total darkness.  Praying in my dark room I see the light of God’s love, the lit candle of the revelation of Christ, and the lamp of the Spirits presence.

 

There is much more to life than our five senses.  Sometimes its hard to discover, hard to believe, in the midst of our media saturated lives.  T.V., Blu Ray, computer, Kindle, iPad, Smart Phone, i Touch, magazines, newspapers, books – they all overwhelm us, and at the same time can leave us empty, spiritually speaking.  To hear the still, small voice of God speaking into our lives, we have to leave the things that thrill our physical senses, and go to a place of silence and solitude,and focus on God and His Word in order to let God “Wow” our spiritual senses.

 

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We have some idea, perhaps, what prayer is, but what is meditation?  Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God.  Its purpose is to let His  truth make its full and proper impact on ones mind and heart.  Its effect is to ever humble us, as we contemplate God’s greatness and glory.  As we enter more and  more deeply into this experience of being humbled, our knowledge of God increases, and with it our peace, our strength, and our joy.  God help us that we all may in truth “know the Lord”.           J.I. Packer,   Knowing God

 

 

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Have you ever peeled five dozen hard boiled eggs at one time?  I hadn’t before this morning.  My wife, Anita, and I cooperatehard boiled eggs with God at a home for needy children in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Anita is a cook.  She was preparing lunch for about 100 children and staff members.  Normally she has some help with this task, and normally I am working outside with landscape concerns.  This morning she was alone in the kitchen, and it was raining outside, so I helped her.  One item on the menu was potato salad, and my job was to peel the hard boiled eggs, all 60 of them.  At first it was kinda fun.  Then it just didn’t seem so bad.  After that it became  frustrating.  Finally, I ended up talking to the eggs.

“Hey Shelly, why can’t you be more like Eggbert?  His shell came off  lickety split, and yours is taking forever!”

“Yoko and Sheldon –  A little help here, huh?  You are definitely not part of the potato salad dream team!”

And so it went.  I noticed it had stopped raining.  Maybe I could slip out into the garden and do something interesting like dig  a drainage ditch or shovel compost, anything but peel eggs.  But I stayed and helped Anita finish the potato salad, baked chicken and pasta soup, because I  love her and want her to be happy; kinda the way God feels about us.

Struggling with the sticky egg shells, I began thinking about perspective.  I  realized there is a right and wrong perspective to have about everything, even peeling eggs.  A correct  and incorrect way of looking at things in life. Perspectives  that can make our existence happier or sadder; joy filled or filled with frustration.  That’s why God gave us His Word.  He created us and He tells us the proper way to look at situations.  Outlooks that improve outcomes.  He not only gives us His Word, but puts the Holy Spirit in us to work out His will and His way.  Paul prayed that the “heart eyes” of the Ephesians (chapter one) would be enlightened.  It is our “enlightened heart eyes”  that gives us wisdom, revelation and knowledge.  Paul is praying that the Ephesian Christians would be able to see situations the same way their Savior does.  Jesus never sinned, because He always had  perfect perspective, wisdom, revelation and knowledge about all situations that faced Him.  With His perspective guiding us, we will be a lot further down the road to glorifying God by enjoying Him and this life He has given us.

Thinking God’s Thoughts After Him

I took a theology class in college.  The professor defined theology as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”  I think that is a great definition, and  more than that, a goal of my life.  When I read and study His  Word, then I find myself thinking more “God thoughts”  and less James Schwab thoughts.  Less negative thoughts enter my head, pushed at me by the world, the flesh and the devil.  Paul says to the Corinthians,”we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).  When I think God’s thoughts after Him, I take errant thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.

Paul wrote to the Philippians that they should do “everything without grumbling or arguing” so that they could become blameless and pure, children of God, without fault in a crooked and warped generation (Phil. 2:14).  He says to the Colossians, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one  body, you were called to peace.  And be thankful“, “doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:15,17).

So what’s behind peeling hard boiled eggs?  What’s the inner perspective I need to have to affect my outward behavior positively?  Don’t grumble.  Don’t argue.  Let the peace of Christ rule in my heart as I  give thanks.  Give thanks for a delicious meal that I helped prepare.  Give thanks that over 100 children and staff members got a hot, nutritious lunch.  Give thanks that  it has stopped raining and back to the garden I go!

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Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.