Advent 19: Silent Night

I was surfing Christmas music on youtube when I came across this song by Amy Grant:

I’d never heard it before, so I sat and listened. And right at the end of the video a scene popped up that moved me and made me cry.

That last scene was in an app I downloaded for my phone and NookHD+. I selected it for my wallpaper on both. There was something very homey and comforting about it. It was like an invitation to step back and keep Christmas without all the hustle and bustle.

Seeing it there in this song was like a hug from God. And in my spirit I could hear him saying, “Whoa, little one. Slow down. You are racing so. Look at you all in a frenzy.”

I sat quietly and pondered this whole “resting” thing. Why is it so hard for people? So I decided to ask google. I found one article by a trainer described how he taught “chargers” to rest effectively. (Here’s the addy: .)

What he was saying reminded me of when I worked at Curves (The Workout Place for Women). When we coached people through the program we put strong emphasis on the cool down and stretching portion of the workout. Invariably at least half the women would skip this portion, citing a need to be somewhere else and promising to do it next time.

We just don’t slow down well.

Throughout the Psalms there’s a little word that we often gloss right over. It occurs 71 times there and three times in Habakkuk 3. The word is Selah. While there is some confusion over its exact meaning, it is most often described as a musical term which we would closely associate with a rest, bringing an oppotunity to pause, to mediate on what was just read or sung.

If our bodies need to physically pause to restore, should it come as any surprise that our spirits need that also?

So God’s gift came in the dark of night. In the quiet of night. Third shift. Quiet. Still. Selah.

Yeah, I think we could all use a Slient Night.

Advent 5: Stop Talking

On a recent flight to Arizona to visit my mom, I sat behind two twenty something men. For the entire two hour flight they spent the time talking. Well, not just talking. They were talking loudly, but it wasn’t just the volume that was annoying. No. Their conversation consisted of a continuous one-up-man-ship. I finally put my headphones on so I wouldn’t have to listen.

Have you been around people who just talk to talk? They say very little that seems important, but they have such a need to say it.

One of the parts of the Christmas story that has always intrigued me involves Zechariah and the Angel. The Angel comes with some really good news and instead of accepting it, Zechariah choses to question the Angel: How? And for that he is silenced until after the baby is born.

There obviously is a time to speak and a time to listen. Did you know the word “listen” occurs 506 times in the Bible (according to and the NIV)? Jesus made several of those references: Let the one who has ears hear.

Last time I checked, that’s just about everybody.

We have helped raise our grandson. I find myself often telling him to stop talking. His constant jibber or rebuttle during correction is not good. Often if he would just stop talking he would avoid trouble. The only times he has moved down on the behavior scale at school have been because he was talking when he shouldn’t.

Picture with me what it would be like if we did less talking this Advent. What would it be like if we listened more? Listened to each other…to God.

We might actually understand why God through the Psalmist instructed us to: Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

How ’bout you go first. I’m all ears.

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