Stop, Look, & Listen SLOW

It’s Time to Slow – Stop, Look & Listen

Published February 25, 2017 on my closed blog ggmandy dot com

Inspired by FMF prompt: SLOW

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” 

Matthew 11:28-30 NLT 

Have you ever felt like you have been run down by a speeding train? 

photo by Malventosa @ Pixabay 

Did you know? “There’s an app for that! 🙂 When I was a kid, we were taught that when you come to a railroad track, STOP, LOOK, & LISTEN. Trains can only go where there are tracks, so pay attention. Don’t proceed until you come to a complete stop, then look and see if anything is coming, then listen for anything that might be coming down the tracks.

I wonder … 

Do you

STOP, LOOK  AND LISTEN before you proceed into your life?

The scriptures are full of examples and admonitions for us to slow and spend time with the Lord. Right from the beginning, God came in the cool of the day to speak with Adam (Genesis 3:8). Even before that God Himself rested after 6 days of work (Hebrews 4:4). Even Jesus would often withdraw from the crowds to pray. (Matthew 14:13-21)

And yet, we act as if we don’t really need to slow down. 

We jump out of bed in the morning, throw on some clothes, down a cup of coffee, and run out the door. Never once thinking of even a quick hello to the Lord or an invitation to Him to walk beside us throughout the day. It’s no wonder, we feel worn and weary.  

Matthew 11:28  Slow
Created in canva for free

How Do We Slow Ourselves to Rest?

And what about our Sundays?  

When I was growing up, we did only what had to be done on Sundays. Even when the hay was ready to bale, it stayed on the ground for a day. Sundays were for attending church and resting. The most we ever did was maybe a “Sunday afternoon drive” or visiting family. 

I recall asking Dad once, 

cow  slow

“Why couldn’t the Lord allow the cows to give twice the milk on Saturday so that we wouldn’t have to milk them on Sunday as God did with providing manna to the Israelites?”  

His answer pricked my heart. 

“God might be willing to do that if we were willing to REALLY give Him the Sabbath.”  

You see, what I wanted was to be able to go and play and have fun, not to actually take the day to slow down and worship God. It seems that when we “slow down” we are still filling our lives with stimulants that do not allow us the opportunity to rest and to fellowship with God.  

There is little to no room for God.  

We come home from work or play and immediately, we turn on our radios, TV, and internet. 

No quiet for him to even get a word in edgewise. 

Take a look from a practical point of view. Phyllis Korkki, at the New York Times, says 

 “A growing body of evidence shows that taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves productivity and creativity — and that skipping breaks can lead to stress and exhaustion … and may even lead to bad health.”

I know for myself when I was working, I would get where I seemed to not be making progress in my work. The best thing I could do was to go take a walk around the block.  Breaks are helpful, so long as we aren’t using them to procrastinate. 

What about meditation? 

Studies show that regular meditation is a very beneficial activity. Anastasia Stephens lists seven benefits of meditation :

  • Increased Immunity 
  • Emotional Balance 
  • Increased Fertility 
  • Relieves Irritable bowel syndrome 
  • Lowers blood pressure 
  •  Anti-inflammatory 
  • Calmness 

Now, who couldn’t use a few of those benefits!  

God told Joshua, 

“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” 

So, if we want to prosper, we MUST spend time meditating on the Word of God. 

Musical Rests

rest slow

WHAT if THERE WERE NO RESTS IN MUSIC?

What kind of song would we get if only notes were played without regard to rests? 

I was a percussionist in the high school band. While the bells were my favorite, I also played the timpani. But many times there were long measures of rests between notes. This was no fun. Just counting beats.  

But these rests left time for tuning the instrument to the right note

And THEN, at the right moment, what an awesome timpani sound rolled out. 

We need these times of rest in our lives as well to tune ourselves to the drumbeat of God. 

John Ruskins said, 

“If we sorrowfully say to ourselves, ‘There is no music in a rest,’ let us not forget that the rest is part of the making of the music. The process is often slow and painful in this life, yet how patiently God works to teach us! And how long He waits for us to learn the lesson!”3 

God can only speak to us in the quiet.  

stop, look, & Listen  slow
created in canva.com

If we never slow down and listen, there is no chance for God to minister to us.  

Oh, how He loves us and wants us to come and fellowship with Him. He wants to tell us so much.

If we would but stop, look and listen

Mandy

My Faith Has Found a Resting Place

Here’s a hymn I didn’t grow up with, but heard it as an adult and fell in love with it immediately. It’s a great one to sing in parts and acapella.

Originally posted on April 8, 2017

My faith has found a resting place

Not in device nor creed;

I trust the Ever-living One,

His wounds for me shall plead.

I need no other argument,

I need no other plea;

It is enough that Jesus died.

And that He died for me.

My Faith Has Found a Resting Place
It is #Enough that Jesus died. And that He died for me Click To Tweet

On this, I can rest my heart and soul.

He died for me… and you. 

We were all sin-stained and lost. (Romans 3:23)

But before we even knew Him, He looked down and loved us. (Romans 5:8)

He came down and paid for our debt of sin.  (John 3:16-17)


He Paid a Debt

There is a chorus by Ellis J. Crum from the 80’s that says,

image by http://www.digitalsongsandhymns.com/songs/4203

We owe Him more than we can ever repay.

There is nothing we can do to pay Him back. Our best deeds are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)

But He took the punishment for our sins upon Himself! (Romans 3:23-25)

He bore the horrible pain and cleansed us from all sin. (1 John 1:9)

And He rose again, defeating death and the grave! (1 Corinthians 15:56-57)

And that is enough to save us. Nothing else must be done but to accept this free gift of God.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)


It is enough!

Praise God!

It is Enough!

Mandy Farmer

Not familiar with these hymns?

Take a listen right here and fall in love with a “new” or appreciate again one that you haven’t heard for a long, long time.

To learn more about receiving this free gift from God, Click Here

What is your favorite hymn?

Tell us in the comments and maybe someday soon you will see a devotional thought on your favorite.

Being Run Ragged

I watched one of my tamed barn cats lose some serious pounds in a short two weeks. Mocha went from a healthy happy active tomcat to skin and bones. I am and always will be a softy for animals. God gave me a place in my heart and mind for critters.

As I was watching Mocha sleep, his breathing is labored. You can see his spine and he sleeps a great portion of the day. Concerned I got up and went into my refrigerator. I had cooked up a pork liver for Tucker the other day, so I thought some mushed up warmed pig liver should add some pep back to him.

After mushing the liver up, I popped it into the microwave for 15 seconds. Out of the microwave I carefully blew on the liver to make sure it wasn’t too hot. It smelled awful to me, so I figured Mocha would find it irresistible

I called to him, but he lay in the patio chair. His pitiful eyes sunken into his head. So I carefully set the bowl of liver right next to him. In an instant, he popped up, began the loudest purring, and dove into the bowl He finished that and I made him some more. Finally satisfied, he pulled his head out of the bowl, licked his lips, and laid back down.

The next morning I dropped him off at the Vet Clinic. I chatted briefly with the Vet. Tech and Dr. A. In our discussion I shared my thoughts on why I thought Mocha was in the condition he was:

  • His littermate had F.I.P. so maybe now he has it
  • A new tomcat moved in and was beating him up on a regular basis
  • This new tomcat was probably keeping him from getting into the barn to eat, which is a big problem in being healthy and able to run or fight.

Dr. A thought that the “tomcat” scenario was the likely culprit, but they would check things out. Dr. A called a while later and said Mocha looked to be well, but given his emaciated condition gave him a shot of antibiotics, wormed him and said to feed him food by the house where I can control how much he gets and keep the bad tomcat from beating him up. All’s well that ends well.

Do you feel run ragged by certain people in your life? Maybe it’s a situation that has you running? Do you find you need food, refreshment, and rest? God wants to shower you with his loving care through good friends, nutritious food, and rest.

Sometimes we do have to run, but know God runs with you!

-Resting and eating and relaxing with you so we can run the race He has set before us.

Michele

restorative rest

Ten Steps to a Restorative Rest

You Seem Tired A Lot. How Well Are You Sleeping?

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Fibromyalgia and Fatigue go hand in hand.

How Well are you sleeping. #restorativerest

I struggle nearly every night just trying to get to sleep. I can sit in a chair all evening yawning and nodding off. But get into the bed, and the eyes pop wide open. This leads to my mind begins to wander and I start to think about all kinds of things that keep me awake. The next day, I can barely function.

As a matter of fact, fatigue is the second most common symptom for fibromyalgia sufferers. Many times those diagnosed with fibromyalgia will also be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Therefore, it is vitally important to get that restorative rest as much as you can.

As a sufferer myself, I respond along with you, “Yeah, right!”

Steps to Restorative Rest

So what can we do?

Fibro Fact2 #fatigue
Continue reading
The Rest of God

Book Review: The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

the rest of god

A book everyone should read … probably more than once to be reminded of the importance of rest.

Buchanan took a sabbatical to research the subject of the rest of God. And found so much that pricked his own heart about taking too little rest. He noticed that “the harder he worked, the less he accomplished.” and he realized that “the Sabbath was a form of mending”.  There is some renewal that only comes from resting in the Lord and being still.

Continue reading

Come by for a visit

Dropping By For A Visit

Don’t you miss the days when people would visit and sit for a spell?

family reunion
cousin, aunt,sousin, me, my husband, my daughter
2014 Dawson (my) family reunion

I do. I think that is why I want a front porch so badly. I miss the days of sitting on the porch with friends and family just resting and sharing time together.

These days we never drop in on people and thus our lives remain lonely and we never learn from one another. No one is a close friend anymore. We are all just acquaintances.

Remember When?

Even our families no longer stop by for a visit. I remember going for a drive and stopping in on my mom’s aunt and uncle. I don’t know how she did it. But my Aunt Mary must have had a 6th sense that someone was coming by because it seemed about 5-10 minutes after we arrived, she presented a delicious cake. Besides the delicious cake and good conversation, we gained the chance to actually know our cousins. If we had not stopped in occasionally, I would never have known my mother’s cousins, nor my second cousins.

I remember that our family friends would take turns having everyone over after the football games. These were all high school friends of my parents. Of course, they all had kids the same age as my siblings and me. Boy, did we have a grand time together?

As an adult, many of us would head out to a restaurant after Sunday Evening Worship. We seldom to that either.

We Are Too Busy

The truth is, we have become so busy that we never slow down long enough to just visit with anyone. The Bible instructs us to practice hospitality. The Book of Hebrews suggests that we should not forsake meeting together.  This scripture is usually used to encourage church attendance, but the early church met together in homes also sharing meals and encouraging one another. This is where we really get to know one another and share in each other’s lives. We can attend church, come in and go out, without truly interacting with people. But meeting in our homes and eating together, that is when we become more than acquaintances.

Here’s the Challenge

So, have you had a visitor or drop by on someone unexpectantly? When did you last invite someone into your home? We may need to make a concerted effort to fellowship together.

Meeting Around the Table

A few years ago, a new Women’s conference erupted into the scene called IF Gathering. They have developed the idea that encouragement comes from around the table. They encourage us to have a once a month meeting around the table. Invite 5 or 6 people to share a simple meal and have a real conversation.

They feel that this is so important that they provide menu ideas and questions to ask each other. It’s called IF: Table. You can Check it out here.

Table games are an excellent way to increase comradery. Try this awesome game with some friends called Life Stories. You will have a great time learning new things about one another.

You can learn more about mentoring around the table with this book written by a friend. Coming Alongside: Blessed to be a Blessing

I’m ready for a visit. Come on by! I’ll make a pound cake.

Mandy Farmer

I participating in Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Fridays where we take a prompt and write for five minutes.

Come by for a visit and sit a spell. #mentoring #visit Click To Tweet