And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. I like J. How relevant this is today as we find our thoughts and the way our minds process material affected by the world around us. We cannot stem the tide of information that bombards us, but we can ask God each day to help us focus on Him and to shape our thinking through His presence in our lives. I was sitting with a group of passengers on an airport shuttle heading to our connecting flight when the bus driver was told to "hold in place.
He exploded at the driver, insisting he ignore his orders or "risk the wrath of a lawsuit. Looking at the angry man, the airline employee triumphantly held up the briefcase. When he had caught his breath, he said, "You left your briefcase. Sometimes I find myself impatient with God, especially about His return. The tragedies around us, the suffering of people we love, and even the stresses of daily life all seem bigger than the fixes on the horizon. Then someone tells their story of having just met Jesus, or I discover God is still at work in the messes.
It reminds me of what I learned that day on the shuttle. There are stories and details God knows that I don't. It reminds me to trust Him and to remember that the story isn't about me. We really needed to hear from God. Having been asked to foster two young children as an emergency measure just for 3 months, a decision had to be made about their future.
Our book of daily readings by the veteran missionary Amy Carmichael directed us to some unfamiliar verses in Numbers 7. Did they ever grumble inwardly, feeling that the other priests had an easier task? But God knows that some things are too precious to be carried on ox-carts and then He asks us to carry them on our shoulders.
My husband and I knew this was our answer.
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That would have been easier, much like the ox-cart. God has different plans for each of us. We might feel that others have an easier assignment, or a more glamorous role to play. When my husband was 18 years old, he started a car-cleaning business. He rented a garage, hired helpers, and created advertising brochures.
The business prospered. His intention was to sell it and use the proceeds to pay for college, so he was thrilled when a buyer expressed interest. After some negotiations, it seemed that the transaction would happen.
But at the last minute, the deal collapsed. Yet God said he could not undertake the project because he had killed too many people in battle 1 Chron. David could have shaken his fist at the sky in anger. He could have pouted or plowed ahead with his own plans. David went on to praise God and affirm his devotion to Him. He valued his relationship with God more than his ambition.
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Are you going through one of those times when it seems every attempt to resolve a problem is met with a new difficulty? I had read the story of the persistent widow many times but never grasped why Jesus told it vv. Now I connected those opening words with the story.
Prayer is not a means of coercing God to do what we want. It is a process of recognizing His power and plan for our lives. In prayer we yield our lives and circumstances to the Lord and trust Him to act in His time and in His way. He trains my hands to catch rebounds and my fingers to shoot! We can easily dismiss ourselves as having little use to God because we feel we have nothing to offer. When God appeared to Moses and assigned him the task of telling the Israelites that He would deliver them from the Egyptians Ex.
Perhaps Moses had some kind of speech impediment, or he was just afraid, but God overcame his inadequacy with His sufficiency. All God wants from us is to follow His plans. He will sort out the rest. In His mighty hands, you can be a blessing to others. As a young girl I went with my parents to visit my great-grandmother, who lived near a farm.
Her yard was enclosed by an electric fence, which prevented cows from grazing on her grass. When I asked my parents if I could play outside, they consented, but explained that touching the fence would result in an electric shock. However, there are those special places, and special times that are very conducive to good quality meditation. Having a special part of a room, or an entire room dedicated to the sole purpose of meditation helps in a number of ways.
For one, being in a dedicated place tells your body and mind it is meditation time.
Secondly, the meditation energy builds over repeated use and there grows a meditative atmosphere. Make the space how you want it. Some people like a small table with flowers and a candle, crystal or picture. It all comes down to personal preference. Some people like an uncluttered space, with just a rug to sit on or a chair. You can get a sense of what place feels the best for you, and it is good to go with that sense. There might be ley lines running through the house or there might be energy spots, which can be either positive or negative.
The more beneficial and positive a place feels, the better for meditation. This applies to meditating outdoors, too. Going into Nature off of the beaten track will give a pure energy.
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Being outdoors such as on a beach at dawn or sunset can be very inspiring. There are various techniques for clearing the meditation space. First of all, keep the place as clean as you can; give it a hoover. This shifts quite a bit of the energy that should not be there along with any physical dust or dirt.
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There are other techniques that are more detailed that can be used as well. If you are a beginner, 20 minutes is a good time to go for. After a few weeks you could build up to 40 minutes or 60 minutes or stay on 20 minutes. It is what feels right that counts.