October 23, 2017

CHRISTLife — A Quiet Time (part four)

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This week we continue to look at one of the absolute joys of our relationship with our heavenly Father—our ‘quiet time’ with Him.  Each Saturday we have been looking in-depth at a few of the more important aspects of a dedicated, purposeful, intentional, devoted quiet time.

Over the past few weeks we have considered some of these aspects, such as:

  • reading the Scriptures
  • singing our praises
  • thankfulness

In addition to each of these, I do believe that quietness—actual ‘physical-absence-of-distracting-noise quiet’…and perhaps even more important…quietness in our hearts—is required as a component of a purposeful, intentional devotional time.

Before we go any further, let’s stop for just five minutes and worship our God giving our praise for these times of stillness and quiet alone with Him!

Here In The Stillness  {Singer/Songwriter – Ali Matthews}
Here in the stillness my heart is at rest
Alone in the silence, that’s where I hear You best
In the rush of the river, like a song in the breeze
It’s here in the stillness You speak to me

When I’m lost in Your Presence the world disappears
Taking all of my troubles…my burdens, my fears
Oh how gently You hold me, You are all that I see
It’s here in the stillness You speak to me

I will be still, I will stand in awe
Oh, just to know You are my God; You are my God

Yes it’s here in the stillness You speak to me
You speak to me

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Our Lord recognized His need for quiet and time alone to pray to His Father.  If He, in His perfect sinless life, needed quiet time alone with God then we surely do also…and even more so!  His example speaks clearly to us.

And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up
and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed.
Mark 1:35

…and great crowds gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their infirmities.
But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 5:15, 16

(Perhaps, when our Lord was alone, He sang words similar to those in that beautiful song we just listened to….)

There is also another type of quietness—a quiet, peaceful heart.  Isn’t this something that each of us yearns for?  Truly I believe it can only be found as we seek Him. There is a incomparable quietness that we are promised as we trust in our Lord.

Be still and rest in the Lord;
wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him;
fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way,
because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.

Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.
For evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord
shall inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:7-9

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.
Psalms 46:10 and 11

And as Jesus Himself said to us,
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Matthew 11:28

In closing, think about how the psalmist viewed his quiet time with his God.  As we intentionally pursue having quiet time alone with our God may we ‘pour out our heart before Him; God is a Refuge for us!’

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him..
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my Refuge is God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him;
God is a Refuge for us. Selah
(excerpts from Psalm 62)

Fixing Your Eyes on Him

SeekingHimLogo

Psalms 141:8-9
But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord; in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me and the gins of the workers of iniquity.

Our God is a Sovereign God who by His mercies offer His divine protection to His very own. If you are born of Christ you are called His sons. We can ask God anything at anytime as long as we are able to realize who He is and how great He is. If we make God too small in our lives He will be as such; but if we live with faith and trust in Him we can pray and He will answer us and deliver us from workers of iniquity.

We have all experienced situations that seemed impossible to handle at the time. When things seem hopeless and you feel you are at your worst, that is the time to turn to God and seek Him with everything you have. You may feel you are alone in your circumstances but God is a ‘very present help in times of trouble’. While the facts of your situation may look bleak, the truth of God’s Word brings light, hope and deliverance. As long as we fix our eyes on Him…as long as we depend on Him. You can’t handle life’s challenges alone, and God doesn’t want you to. He loves you and as long as you believe this in your heart, you have access to His Divine intervention.

Let us pray to this faithful God. When we pray it is like we are calling Him to intervene in our situations the way David prayed. Don’t allow the devil to deceive you that God won’t help you. The enemy wants to steal your confidence in God.

I want to encourage you today, that no matter what you’re going through or facing, God knows your situation. He is willing and able to provide for you, protect you, and bring you to an expected end.  All you have to do is take refuge in Him and trust Him. Ask God today to help you and fix your eyes on Him. Look away from everything that distracts and focus on God. Never give up! Never throw in the towel! Never surrender! God will help you. God will see you through and you CAN live and walk in victory.  You can avoid and overcome the snares and gins of the workers of iniquity.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your loving kindness. May You help us today to fix our eyes on You for You are the solid ground. In Jesus name I pray… Amen.

Seeking Him – Quietness

This week in our current series, Seeking Him, we continue to look at one of the joys (and privilege!) of our relationship with our heavenly Father—our ‘quiet time’ with Him.  Each Saturday we have been looking in-depth at some of the more important aspects of a dedicated, purposeful, intentional, devoted quiet time.

Over the past few weeks we have thought about a few of these aspects, such as:

  • reading the Scriptures
  • singing our praises
  • being intentional—seeking Him
  • physically expressing ourselves: cry, kneel, raise hands, etc.
  • speaking out our ‘love’
  • praying

In addition to each of these, I do believe that quietness is required as a major component of a dedicated, purposeful, intentional, devoted quiet time.  Actual physical-absence-of-distracting-noise quiet…and perhaps even more important…quietness in our hearts.

Our Lord recognized His need for quiet.  If He, in His perfect sinless life, needed quiet time alone…we do also and even more so!  His example speaks clearly to us.

And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up and went out to a deserted place,
and there He prayed.

Mark 1:35

…and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities.
But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

Luke 5:15, 16

There is also another type of quietness—a quiet, peaceful heart.  Isn’t this something that each of us yearns for?  Truly I believe it can only be found as we seek Him.  There is a incomparable quietness that we are promised as we trust in our Lord.

Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him;
fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way,
because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.
For evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord
shall inherit the earth.

Psalms 37:7-9

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.

Psalms 46:10 and 11

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

Matthew 11:28

Keep seeking Him and enjoy your quiet time with your Lord!  As you seek Him, He will be found…He has promised!

Jeremiah 29:12,13
Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me,
and I will hear and heed you.
Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity]
and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Praying for each of you!  I know that the Lord will answer your heart’s cry as you are seeking Him with all your heart!

♥  coleen

Seeking Him – With My Whole Self

Each Saturday we have been looking in-depth at a few of the most important aspects of having a dedicated, purposeful, intentional, devoted quiet time. This week in our current series, Seeking Him, we are continuing to look at this joy and privilege of our relationship with our heavenly Father—our quiet time alone with Him.

May I ask you to think about something for just a moment?   What are some of the things you do with your body as you spend time and seek Him?  A few that I pictured in my mind were:

  • we sit
  • we stand
  • we kneel
  • we lay prone
  • we raise our hands
  • we clap our hands
  • we walk
  • we lift our eyes

Perhaps you are thinking, “Oh, that is NOT for me, Coleen!  I am kind of reserved, y’know.  And besides, what might people think?!?”  Let me remind you, my friends, we are talking about YOUR quiet time with Your Father…most probably no one is around, right?

Let’s look at some examples given in the Scriptures of people who, using their bodies, gave voice to the cries of their hearts:

When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house. The windows in its upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Daniel 6:10

While Ezra prayed and confessed, weeping and falling facedown before the house of God, an extremely large assembly of Israelite men, women, and children gathered around him. The people also wept bitterly.  Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, an Elamite, responded to Ezra: “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the surrounding peoples, but there is still hope for Israel in spite of this.  Let us therefore make a covenant before our God to send away all the foreign wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the command of our God.  Let it be done according to the law.  Get up, for this matter is your responsibility, and we support you. Be strong and take action!”

Ezra 10:1-4

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven.  He said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing loving-kindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart…

1 Kings 8:22-24

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!  Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us.  Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us…

Psalms 123:1-3

O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy.

Psalms 47:1

Then He said to them, My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me.  And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.

Matthew 26:38 and 39

And there are so MANY other examples throughout the Scriptures to show us that it is a good thing to physically express our adoration…our praise…our love…our great need for our Awesome and Great God!  Just as Daniel, David, Ezra, Solomon, and our Lord Jesus Himself prayed and cried to God, they used their physical bodies to express their hearts to Him.

So may I please encourage you to get up!  Allow your body to be an additional part of your expression of  the words in your heart during your quiet time with your Father!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind
Luke 10:27

Our heavenly Father has required that we give Him all of ourselves.  True worship and praise comes from the heart.  If our worship does not come from our hearts, it will not matter what posture, or physical expression of our praise, we use.  God requires all of you!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Keep seeking Him and enjoy your quiet time with your Lord!  As you seek Him, He will be found…He promises!

Jeremiah 29:12,13
Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me,
and I will hear and heed you.
Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity]
and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Praying for each of you!  I know that the Lord will answer your heart’s cry as you are seeking Him with all your heart!

♥ coleen

______________________

If you would like to send a personal message to Coleen concerning the series, Seeking Him, you may email her at:  Coleen@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

Seeking Him: Praise in the Storms

Do you ever wake up and instead of saying a happy ‘G’morning, Lord!’ to your Heavenly Father out of your thoughts comes ‘Oh, please, Lord…<big sigh!>…I SO need you!”  That was me this morning.  I went over to the window, looking out into the darkness surrounding our neighborhood (it is only 5:10 a.m.), I purposed to sing my need–-confess my GREAT need—for my Father. I had settled my body down last night, but my mind was tossing and turning all night long.  And so I did what the Psalmist did when he was troubled and despondent…I sang.

David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.   He said: The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer;   My God, my Rock, in Him will I take refuge; my Shield and the Horn of my salvation; my Stronghold and my Refuge, my Savior—You save me from violence.   I call on the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.   In my distress I called upon the Lord; I cried to my God, and He heard my voice from His
temple; my cry came into His ears.  

2 Samuel 22:1-7

———————————————

This week in our current series, Seeking Him, we are going to focus on recognizing how essential it is to praise our God even in the midst of trials and troubles and heartaches.  Yet one more reason to purpose to have your quiet time—to bring our hearts before Almighty God first thing in the morning.  Taking the time…making the time… to be still and to seek your heavenly Father is vitally important to the state of your heart throughout the day. 

Just like my early morning today (and let me tell you, the attacks did not stop! oh, no…they did not!) and the balance of the day, we ALL experience trials and temptations.  But we can experience a preparation for those times when we purpose to be in our Father’s presence at the beginning of each day.  Listen to this song by Mrs. Sara Groves, encouraging us! 

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHmenrxcbsw>

First Song That I Sing

In the morning when I rise • Help me to prioritize • All the thoughts that fill my day • Before my schedule • Tells me that my day is full • Before I’m off and on my way •

I want to praise You • I need to praise You • Let the first song that I sing • Be praises to my God and King •

Before the curtains part • Before my day is starting • Before I make up the bed • Before the snooze alarm • Reminds me that it’s morning • Before the dreams have left my head •

I want to praise You • I need to praise You • Let the first song that I sing • Be praises to my God and King •

Before my feet hit the floor • I’ll praise You, Lord, I’ll praise you Lord • Before I fill my cup • I’ll lift you up, I’ll lift you up • Before I start my day • I’ll sing your praise, I’ll sing your praise • Before I start my car • Before I get too far •

 

Oh, the joy that wells up in our hearts as we continue to praise our God!  Yet another reason for our morning quiet time, my friends!  Consider this,  

Through Him [Jesus], therefore,
let us constantly and at all times
offer up to God a sacrifice of praise,
which is the fruit of lips that thankfully
acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.

Hebrews 13:15

Sometimes giving our praises to God requires us sacrificing our own desires and purposing in our hearts to voice our thankfulness, even when we don’t feel very thankful.  “Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

To the end that my tongue and my heart and everything glorious within me
may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Psalm 30:12

Keep Seeking Him and enjoy your quiet time with your Lord!  Even in the midst of it all, sing your praises and thanksgiving!  God will be honored and magnified! 

Praying for each of you ♥   I know that the Lord will answer your heart’s cry as you are Seeking Him with all your heart!

♥ coleen 



If you would like to send a personal message to Coleen concerning this series, you may email her at:  Coleen@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

Seeking Him by Coleen Hayden

Jeremiah 29:13

 

All this week, we have been ‘listening’ to interviews between our bloggers and some of our girls. I have loved it…haven’t you? It has helped me to learn a little bit more about Vicky, Tristan, Rebekkah, Rachel and Zinni…as well as about Mama Teresa, Jordan, Miss Tonya, Miss Diane, and Miss Edwina, too! We have heard them talk about music, clothes, movies, and food amongst other things. And we were privileged to hear each of them share about a special life-changing thing that has occurred in their lives.

They learned about each other through relationship. In order to have and maintain a relationship two people need to spend time together (yes, online DOES count!)…they need to speak AND listen…they need to consider what the other has said.

All of this has caused me to think about our exciting new study looming on the horizon…and about being a follower of our Lord Jesus, NOT a fan! Through the Bible, I can learn so much about just WHO my Lord is…and WHAT He has accomplished. AND I can learn even more about my Lord through my relationship with Him! We need a relationship with Him! We need to speak to Him AND to listen to Him. We need to consider, to ponder, to meditate on His words. One way I know to do this is to spend time with my Lord. In ‘Christian-ese’ some folks call this a ‘quiet time’ or ‘devotions.’

So, inspired by the interviews we’ve heard about this week, I asked to ‘interview’ some of the ladies here at GCH:decaf. I offered 3 questions about their own quiet time/devotional time. May I share their responses with you? (Prepare to be blown away…I’m just sayin’!)

Question 1: Would you please tell me a little about YOUR quiet time?

  • I shut off all my phones and the TV.
  • It’s pretty much only in the morning that I do.
  • I found that if I read or listened to the chapters before I got out of bed in the morning…it set the tone for my day.
  • I try to have some sort of quiet time all day long with God. I try to be in communication with Him always.
  • Sometimes I will just start to sing…other days I start by listening to praise music.
  • I turn on some praise music…nice and low at first. I begin by singing…my own song…my own words…never the same.
  • I like to listen to Christian music…it helps to focus my thoughts and I have worship time then as well.

Question 2: Do you have a favorite devotional (printed, digital) that you enjoy?

  • I have a digital devotional on my phone that I read…from Rick Warren, and Joyce Meyer (*a few ladies read devotionals on their phones).
  • I’ve never really done any devotionals by myself really.
  • My favorite devotional is which ever Bible study we are working on at that time.
  • I tend to favor writings by pastors like Max Lucado, David Jeremiah, Charles Stanley and now Kyle Idleman.

Question 3: How does this time each day help you to remain a follower…not a fan?

  • Usually helps me to remember who He is, how powerful He is, how loving He is, and how blessed I am that I am His!!
  • It keeps me from being a person who SAYS she’s a Christian when her life doesn’t show it. I want my works to prove that I am…while also knowing & keeping in mind that works don’t save me.
  • The time I spend reading the Word, listening to music, listening for the voice of God in my life teaches me about the character of God and who He is. I not only know about Him, I KNOW Him.
  • Basically God is always there and being in communication with him all day long reminds me of that. Then, when I get my alone quiet time with Him in the Bible that is when He really speaks to me and teaches me new things through His word.

As you can easily see, by the examples of these ladies, having a daily quiet time is oh-so-important! If you already faithfully do this, I venture to say you can hardly imagine a day without it. If you have enjoyed a quiet time as part of your daily routine in the past…and would like to resume it…jump back in; you KNOW you want to! If you have been considering beginning the discipline of having a quiet time, try it with us for the next month.

Each Saturday for the next four weeks, we will look in-depth at a few of the important aspects of having a dedicated, purposeful quiet time. Gathering from the experiences our friends have shared, there seem to be a few basics which include:

  • Bible reading
  • Prayer
  • Praise Songs
  • Meditation
  • Seeking the Lord

Praying for each of you!  I know that the Lord will answer your heart’s cry as you seek Him with all your heart!

<3  coleen



If you are interested in more information about GCH:decaf, email us at: GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

If you would like to send a personal message to Coleen, you may email her at: Coleen@girlfriendscoffeehour.com