Tag Archive: be still and know

Welcome to the Lent experience… it’s not too late to join in…

Each day for 40 days i will be posting a suggestion to give you an action or focus point or challenge for the day as we head towards Easter time and want to spend the time meaningfully by focusing more on who God is and what He did, learning to love people more deeply and slowing down from the busyness and caught-up-ness of our day to day.

If you are up for joining me in this, please simple leave your name and say some version of “I’m in!” on the Intro blog i posted, in the comments section.


Task: Create a 5 minute space of silence where you unplug, move somewhere less frenetic and just be.


So really move away from phones and computer screens [if not now, then make a time during the day to do so] and get outside if you can and find a spot that is not necessarily quiet but is specifically removed from the busyness of life.

And for today i have a bit of a meditation planned, but i encourage you to insert this 5 minutes of stopping and just being for the whole rest of these 40 days – it will change your life! If you have a lunch break at school or work or even home then you might want to combine that with this.

If you can print this out or grab your Bible and read it rather, from Psalm 46, then do that and meditate on it.

1 God is our refuge and strength,

    an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    He lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations He has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    He burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Especially verse 10:

 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Take time to know. To realise. To remember. To speak to. To think about. To listen to. To be awestruck by. To call on. To rage at. To praise. To invite.

Easter is approaching…

[For Day 3 of the Lent series, click here]



this last week, i was still and knew…

So this began with a throw-away line in a sermon and a post titled, ‘If you are always in a rush, are you really following Jesus [who never was]?

Followed by the invitation to do a non-rush experiment which about 15 people took up with me… and which i would highly advise you giving a try from today if you were not one of those people… and an excerpt from the devotional i am working through looking at the place of rest being the source of strength.

and so here is the conclusion or a glimpse into the experience and i am hoping that some of the others who did this will share their experiences in the comments section below… and even if you arrived at this party a little late and decide to do this over the next week, we would love to hear how it went for you so come back and share.

basically the idea was to take between 10 and 20 minutes each day and just stop and be still and intentionally step back from the rush of what life and busyness and work and social networking can become… and to listen and watch and breathe and pray and take it all in.

we have been working at our home this week and so i tried to do my non-rush time around lunchtime each day and went outside and sat in the empty parking space behind our four apartment complex or on the pavement in front and just slowed everything down…

and it was really great.

stepping away from the computer screen for one was a good discipline. turning off from work and social networks and responsibilities and just focusing on God and the surroundings.

one thing i did a lot of was focusing on different sounds… so people and then traffic and then nature – just focusing on an individual sound or collection of sounds within the noise of the day. another was focusing on nature. different types of trees. a lone bird sitting on a rooftop, and another on an electricity wire and a third on a tree.

another thing was letting me mind wander to people i knew who needed prayer. so taking time to lift them up to God and think about them and their situation. by slowing down the day i found that these came flowing towards me with greater ease. who do i know that could use some prayer right now? and then later on taking time to email some of them and encourage them or just let them know they were in my prayers.

taking time to inward reflect a little. about my life in general, what positive changes could be made? about my relationship with tbV and other friends of mine. about responsibilities and things needing to be prioritised. i found that slowing down in many ways helped me to become more focused and hopefully more productive or intentional when i went back to work and life.

it is something i want to continue to do because i see the value for it every day. the irony in the week of doing ‘non-rush’ moments of being still is that it was the Saturday [when i only had one thing on my agenda] that i did’t get around to doing it… only day i missed was my least busiest day… which says to me this is something we can make time for.

how about you? i would love to hear how your time of non-rushingment went…

[To continue to the next post looking at Keeping a Log of Gratitude for a Week, click here]

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pretty obvious statement, right? not something that needs to be proved.

felt like a bit of a throw-away line by the pastor [Albert Lee] at Re:Generation church which tbV and i are a part of, but it really connected with me.

Jesus was never in a rush. Ever. 

Or at least we don’t get any indication of Him being in a rush and if it was a part of His character or day to day then surely one of the four gospel writers would have given even the smallest glimpse of it.

But Jesus never seemed to be in a hurry. He never got stressed by anything [except maybe religious people not being loving or kind or particularly God following].

And, as a result of Jesus not being in a hurry, at least two people died before He got to them. [Lazarus and the daughter of Jairus]

Sure He raised both of them to life again, but i think the point is still valid. Even preventing a death from happening didn’t shake up Jesus’ schedule.

So i do need to reflect on that and wonder what it means for me.

If i am ALWAYS in a rush… then my life is not going to resemble Jesus’ life a whole lot.

If my life is categorised by rush, stress, reaction to… then again, i might need to stop and reflect and change things up a bit.

passages like psalm 46.10 come to mind:Be still and know that I am God.

it is by remaining in Jesus that we bear fruit [John 15], but how often do we leave Jesus behind when we rush off to do “Jesus stuff”?

so how are you doing in this? and is there something you can do to start resembling Him more? [or maybe something you can stop doing?]

[and really, take a minute on this at least before rushing to click the next tab or answer the next piece of mail – don’t nod and agree and the rush on cos that would be completely missing the point – if you agree with this take a moment to consider some form of change…]

if you are always in a rush, are you really following Jesus [who never was]? 

continuing with thoughts and reflections from my time at the 2013 CCDA conference in New Orleans:

the evening started with a rendition of that powerful hymn ‘How Great Thou Art’ and what was so powerful about it was that the band completely held back [what? a worship band not taking centre stage?] and so it was just a room of 1000 plus people lifting their voices to God and just felt like such a thick and worshipful Presence in that room – really set a great tone for the evening.

then a lady called Laura came up and spoke about the sabbath and it was really great.

she began by speaking about she found herself often in a place of fear and of anxiety  and of burnout… she’d be crying out to God, “God, when do I get to soar like an eagle? Walk and not be weary? When do I get to run and not grow faint?

And God responded with, “I gave you the sabbath, what else do you want?”

Exodus 20.8-10:

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

It is important to remember that it is a commandment. And not one of those we like to put a spin on as in ‘had a place in the Old Testament but we don’t have to do it any more cos Jesus abolished it’ – this is one of the ten that we all hold fast to.

The majority of the remaining commandments begin with the words, ‘Thou shalt not…’ but this one begins with the word ‘Remember’ and then promotes something that we should be doing… The message of ‘Remember’ echoes Psalm 46.10 of ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Stop. Keep this.

Some of us need to start by stopping.

Had to think about what God meant when He said, ‘Remember.’

# The Lord gave you the sabbath – were you expecting something else?

The first thing I heard was, “Laura, you are not indispensible.” WHAT? REALLY?

# We give in to the deception.

Did God ever say to anyone in the Bible, ‘This command. It isn’t for you. You’re too important. Please keep working.’

No, He didn’t. And not even to Jesus.

# God has shown me through this how so often I am bowing down… but not to Him, to others or other things…

# I need to remember this – that if I never produce anything else for the rest of my life, God will not love me any less.

# And if I made the most excellent thing, or accomplished the biggest successful looking thing, He won’t love me any more.


[1] The world already has a Saviour [and big newsflash – it’s not me!]

[2] Let me Love you. That’s what I heard God saying to me. Let Love love you. Because that is what it does. That is what He does.

  # I created you a rest

  # I didn’t create you to do, I created you to be!

[3] I realised that God was calling me to Real Love  – love that wasn’t a quickie devotion

Rather Love that was like pulling up a chair in God’s kitchen and waiting for the bread to bake. 

Not for a particular reason. Just to visit some.

[4] Call to remember that God is God and I am not.

# Jesus was the first one who knew how to stop.


– then we had a minute of silence… to listen to God…

Let the body of Christ be the body of Christ – let us encourage one another, hold each other accountable, life up each other’s arms. Love one another.

And it was good.

How is your sabbathing going?

[For snippets from the next morning of the conference, click here]

i refer to John 15.4 all the time:

 ‘Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.’

and i also love o use Psalm 46.10 which talks about being still and knowing that I [God] am God:

‘He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”’

and lately i’ve been hearing myself speak [write] them and then being hit mid sentence by the fact that i’m not really living them. i mean i kinda am, but not really. i’ve been distracted by the IPL fantasy dream league cricket which has happily coincided with my waking up times [finished today – hooray!] and then the day hits and carries on until bed time. and i steal moments away for God, and take time to remember important people and situations in prayer [as there have been a lot of them lately] and somehow use that to justify or get me through the day. but i know better.

i am the vine you are the branchesthis isn’t a new thing. i feel like i have a distractionary personality or tendency, which does not mean i am blaming how i am for how i have been – and it doesn’t have to be a specific distraction either, which maybe makes it harder cos it’s not about getting a handle on Words with Friends or Mousehunt or Poker or whatever the next thing is, cos it seems like there will always be a next thing… it is more about being aware of what the tendency is and putting in the hard work [and more importantly discipline, and schedule often helps for me] to avoid getting into those spaces. and also to remind myself daily what the priorities are: God, my beautiful wife Valerie, my family and friends, kingdom things…

i feel like it is so important to live the preach before i preach the preach cos the definition of a hypocrite is pretty much the opposite of that. the word hypocrite incidentally came from the word they used for actor [a person pretending to be something they are not] and so it is very apt.

i certainly don’t believe that i need to have it all together before i speak or write or challenge, but i need to be at least walking that road.

and today was a bit of an injection of that for me today – i don’t think it was a case of a whole bunch of time with God and so now i’m okay – more like a Red Bull sip of God and so i have the energy to get me to the place where i need to be to put in the work to get things back to being good with God. but it was a great start. some good worship vibes. some inspiration to film a couple of the next walk through Mark videos i’m doing and suddenly it started to all come alive again. i always find when i’m speaking out Truth it becomes or feels the most Truthful to me. so that was great.

it’s a start. a getting back on the road. a little bit of dusting off. and it’s good. looking forward to this week ahead.

another week, another ‘Coffee with Jesus’ cartoon strip holding a mirror up towards us, this time in the area of prayer…

Psalm 46.10 reads, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ quite often most of us forget the ‘be still’ part as illustrated really well here:

Coffee With Jesus: Not Talk

of course too often we also get the ‘and know that I am God’ part pretty wrong as well, but that’s another post…

Wow, this is a great little psalm – just a delightful praise-filled mantra, but there were one or two lines which really jumped out at me:

verse 9 reads, ‘Within your temple, O God,  we meditate on your unfailing love.’

if you read the second half of the Bible carefully, you quickly find out that God’s temple is us – the Holy Spirit of Jesus resides in us, guiding and nudging and pointing us back towards God…

and so in that temple [within ourselves] we should be meditating on the Father’s unfailing Love.

we had dinner with friends of ours last night and were talking about some of the things we had loved about our time with the Simple Way in Philadelphia and one of those was the morning prayer times we did monday to friday. we were introduced to a form of liturgy we were not used to and for that reason perhaps really grew to like it as a different expression of worship to God. [you can access some of what we did in the book of Common Prayer on the commonprayer.net website which i was exploring before we went over]

last night we spoke about how a lot of people don’t meditate on God a lot – it’s the ‘be still and KNOW that i am God’ of psalm 46 – and it is a great ongoing reminder that this story is all about Him and not us [how we do like to think it is!] and so creating places to stop and just be still and know and then also to meditate, deeply experience and feel and think upon, on His Love which is unfailing.

i also really enjoyed the ending to this psalm:

Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts,
    view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation.

For this God is our God for ever and ever;
    he will be our guide even to the end.

[verse 12-14]

for me it’s the reminder to talk it all in, to remember, drink it in and soak in the goodness of God right now so that when there is a time when God may not feel so good [and there will be] you will be reminded of times past and be able to continue telling the victorious stories[which are often all that keeps us going when times are hard] – it just feels like such a triumphant victorious and celebrationary ending to this testament of praise.

[To return to the Intro page and be connected to any of the other Psalms i have walked through before now, click here]

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