Blessed Quietness

Noise is everywhere! Music blaring over the speaker system in the clothing stores, loud diesel pickup trucks billowing their smoke as they scream by your house, parents hollering threats at their children as they make their way through Wal-Mart, phone notifications and text messages keeping us on edge, etc.

Sadly, too many of us do not know how to be still or even how to deal with “awkward” quiet. For far too many, our lives are characterized by rush, running, and racket.

While being on sabbatical this month, one of the blessings that has come our way has been times of quiet and stillness. They have come to us seated by the lake at Watauga Point for the afternoon, enjoying the gardens outside Boone Tavern Inn after breakfast, outdoor supper by a quiet brook at Pottery Barn Cafe & Grille, on our back porch, in our family room, and on the deck and the upstairs window seat of a friend’s lake cottage to name a few.

Blessed Quietness, a hymn from yesteryear, speaks to that which alludes so many. How can you know and experience that blessed quietness?

The fourth stanza says, “What a wonderful salvation, where we always see God’s face! What a perfect habitation, what a quiet resting place!” First of all, you must have the chaos in your sinful heart and soul quieted by the resting work of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ alone. On the cross when Jesus was crucified, He declared, It is finished, and He bowed His and gave up His spirit (John 19:30). The work of salvation was complete (Isaiah 53:4-6; Ephesians 2:8-9). The greatest rest for man comes with the complete assurance of full salvation through the complete work of Jesus Christ. Take time to read the following: John 1:12; 3:16, 36; 5:24; 10:28; 17:3; 1 John 5:11-13.

Second, meditate and operate in life through the familiar words of Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me (1-4).

In Hebrew, the words for ‘still waters’ in Psalm 23:2b are “Mai Menochot”, meaning literally, “restful waters”. Our Shepherd wants to lead us to a place of rest, a place of trust, a place of confidence, a place where you rely on Him and focus on Him without anything that will distract you. He wants to take the “heavy load” from your life and replace it with His everlasting peace and rest. (Moran,

Begin each day with quiet in the presence of your Shepherd. Bathe your soul in the Word of God and prayer. Rest in Him as you read. When you pray, talk out loud to God, but then stop and listen to Him speak quietly to you. Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 42:1; Philippians 4:6-8).

Men, you take the lead. Discipline yourself to have times of uninterrupted quiet with the Lord. Designate a place at home, in the woods, on a walk, or by a creek where you can read the Word and commune with the Lord. Here’s a helpful resource.

Husbands, make sure your wife has times of solitude. She is your first ministry.

Dads, teach your children how to be still before the Lord even when they are young.

We will always have noise around us, but don’t let it rob you of the stillness of salvation and your relationship with The Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. Exchange the rush, running and racket for blessed quietness.

Blessed quietness, holy quietness,
what assurance in my soul!
On the stormy sea He speaks peace to me,
how the billows cease to roll

Resting Secure in His Arms

Our world has changed so much since the beginning of February when foster grand-babies entered our lives.   Yes, you did see that as plural . . . twin boys.  Born at 24 weeks and now moving toward seven months old.

As I fed one of the boys last Friday morning, burped him, and then felt him go to sleep on my shoulder, I began to pray with tears streaming down my cheeks.  In his attempt to drift off, he fought it for a while, whimpering, and moving his head back and forth.  It was then I drew him to my face and neck as I sang to him holding him ever so close.  After a few minutes, he was resting, breathing comfortably, and secure in Papaw’s arms.

My tears were not only because of our love for these boys, but also due to what the Lord reminded me as I prayed.  There are times I am fussy, discontent, worried, fretting, fearful, and questioning why.  Never leaving me or forsaking me, my Heavenly Father is there to draw me to His side.  I just need to stop fighting it.  I need to stop trying to hold up my own head and simply rest on His shoulder. There I always find Him to be that quiet place of refuge and strength; that eternal abode of contentment; that One Who accepts me in the Beloved . . . quiet and secure in my Heavenly Father’s arms.

Psalm 62:1           Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.

Psalm 119:114    You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.

Clippin’ Grace Coupons in Ministry


While looking back through my journal for this the first week of the New Year, my, how faithful, good, and loving God has been.  But, true is, that is not surprising because that’s Who He is!  So when you come to know Him, you watch for where He is at work, you recognize His revealed character/attibutes, and then you respond to Who He is.  I promise you, if you recognize Who He is, you will never miss what He does.  So with that in mind, here’s a recap of some of God’s grace this week.

#1  Answered Prayer!!

I could on and on about this one!!  One of the best is the reminder to never stop praying for our unsaved family and friends.

In Wednesday’s post, I wrote about Barbara Chandler’s investments in others’ lives. Her greatest investment was in prayer, especially for the salvation of her husband.  For many, many years she labored in prayer for him.  He was known for his many trips across the state line where he would get drunk and also squander their money on the lottery.

I learned while attending her funeral on Tuesday that God answered her prayer and the prayers of countless others.  Seven years, at the age of 81, Ralph humbled himself before the Lord and received Him as his personal Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-13).

May we have the heart of Barbara Chandler as well as the Apostle Paul who said, I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, […]Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. (Romans 9:1-3; 10:1)

 #2  Blessed Quietness

How wonderful to spend a day on the lake, in the Word, in prayer, seeking the Lord for what He would have me preach.  The serene quiet, the voice of the Lord, and setting at Jesus’ feet is invaluable time spent.

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He (Jesus) went out and departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed. (Mark 1:35)

#3   Encouragement

Yesterday was a full day of ministry opportunities that included a funeral, a hospital visit, and mentoring to name a few.  When I arrived home around 9:15, I checked my Facebook and found I had been tagged by my oldest daughter.  Here’s a throwback video of a song that has meant so much to me over the years.  I needed this last night. I needed to be reminded that in the midst of all of life and ministry’s demands, Jesus is always the center of my joy.

(Also made me think of a very special group of teenagers who gathered in Spain two years ago!)

Center of My Joy

Shhhh, Someone Is Speaking

Yesterday morning I experienced once again one of the many blessings of living in the country—quiet.  After living for thirteen years in an increasingly noisy area of town, I have not in the least bit grown tired of tranquil country living.  Often times I find myself just stopping in the backyard or on the porch to listen to the stillness.  How refreshing to my heart, my soul, my mind and my ears.

What made yesterday morning’s time extra special was the realization of quiet while spending time in communion with the Lord in prayer and Scripture reading.  Our lives are too busy.  Quiet fellowship with our Heavenly Father is so often bypassed for a quick read, noise in the background, and a few heartless prayer requests.   Many have just a mere acquaintance with the still small voice of our Father.  Truth is, God does not shout to get our attention.  He wants to commune with us as we shut down all the racket around us and in our heart and give concentrated attention to His loving, forgiving, grace-filled voice.  There is quiet rhythm in spending time in blessed fellowship with our God Who loves us as much as He loves His Son (John 15:9).  As you read His Word, you stop after a verse or two and listen.  Perhaps record in your journal what He speaks to you.  Then you pray that truth back to Him in adoration, confession, and/or supplication.  As you read the next verse or two, you repeat this process.  May I be quick to add that this is not a cold, lifeless process, but one of sitting at the feet of our awesome, holy, omniscient, omnipresent, loving God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 16:13-16  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.  

Notice the work of the Holy Spirit, first to the disciples for a specific purpose, and now to us as Christ’s disciples.

  1. The Holy Spirit leads us into full understanding of the Truth. He guides us along the way as He teaches us about Christ and His Word.  He will teach you more and more as you grow in spiritual capacity and knowledge.
  2. The Holy Spirit’s main function is to magnify Christ. As Expositor’s Bible Commentary puts it, “The Spirit interprets and applies the character and teaching of Jesus to the disciples and by doing so makes him central to their thinking.  He makes God a reality to people” (The Gospel of John, p. 158)

What did the Holy Spirit disclose to you this morning?  Did you hear Him?  Now, you don’t have to move to the country, but do try to find a quiet place.  Moms, train your children to be quiet when you have your quiet time and . . . as they learn to have their own.  Shhh, Someone is speaking to you.

On the Back Porch

One of the blessings of living in the country is the quiet. I realize that I risk sounding like an old man, but I have always liked quiet.  And now you are laughing if you know me because I am a talker, a preacher, and have a strong voice.  I want my music turned up in my car so I can sing along, and I love the sound of 35 or more cars chasing each other around the track at Bristol Motor Speedway on a hot August night. Nevertheless, I really like quiet.  The reason I hike and run is to enjoy the quiet.  Most of the places my wife and I “get away” are places of quiet. That’s one of the reasons I love my back porch, which is where I am seated right now. Many times when my wife and I are eating out here, I will look at her and say, “Listen.”  A sound can barely be heard.

This world is full of noise.  People generally are uncomfortable with quiet.  They can’t sit still for more than 10 minutes.  The TV has to be on, the children screaming at the top of their lungs, and the dogs carrying on like it’s a full-moon.  So, when you consider being quiet, it makes most folks uncomfortable.

Caleb’s legacy is mostly one of being a genuine man of faith (Numbers 13-14).   There is a time mentioned in chapter thirteen that causes me to want to stand up and salute Caleb.  The ten spies have returned with their evil report of the land and created a disquieted heart in the people of Israel.  We read in Numbers 13:30, Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”  Way to go, Caleb!  You did the best thing for those folks.  They needed to just be still and listen.

Does someone need to quiet you?  Have you been still enough today to hear the voice of God speaking?  Have you been tethered to your cell phone doing most of the talking? Has someone come to you with gossip, and you’ve had enough courage and desire for quiet in your own soul to say, “Shhh.  I don’t want to hear it.”  Much of what disquiets our heart is what we hear from the lips of others and from our own sinful heart.  This morning or sometime today, will you find your “back porch” and be still.  Enjoy the quiet and meditate on these four scripture passages:

Psalm 107:30 – Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.

Psalm 131:2 – Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Proverbs 17:1 – Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 – Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.