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Thursday, January 8, 2015
Coast Guard Lighthouse Station, Lake Superior, Marquette, Michigan
(Photo by Howard Blichfeldt)
"Not A Blast Of Hurry"
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“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).
Today we are having a blast of cold arctic-like temperatures that has fallen upon our region. I managed to take our trash and recyclables out to the road and when I returned told Brooksyne with the blasting winds it felt like 30 below zero! It was in the single digits w/o factoring in the wind chill last night. With the wind it feels much colder! It reminds us of the blessing of having a good heat source keeping us warm on this frigid day and I have the coal stove up as much as it will go, cranking out some 85,000 BTU's! However we will be getting out early this morning to make some chaplain visits so we can commiserate with everyone else who must be out.
The cold blast brought to mind a line from Frances Havergal's classic hymn, “Like A River Glorious”. She writes, "not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there”. The blast of hurry she writes about has also been described as the “Tyranny Of The Urgent” by Charles E. Hummel in a small booklet written about 50 years ago. And it sure seems that life has gotten a lot busier since then!
So many things can come in and clutter our minds and lives causing a loss of focus. Many days it seems I have about 10 "irons in the fire" and they each compete for my attention. Many of you are probably the same way. Well, I wish I could say to you that I had discovered the answer with this tension in my life, but I haven't. I will admit it and continue to pray about the steps needed to change that.
"Tyranny of the Urgent" expresses the sense of urgency that overshadows us in the daily experience of living, and it examines how modern technology contributes to this urgency. When Hummel wrote this in 1967, he identified the telephone as a great contributor to this sense of urgency, writing how it "breaches walls with imperious demands." Can you imagine what he would write now that we have ever-present cell phone! In the sixties, for me anyway, the phone would have been the black rotary dial phone mounted to our kitchen wall; the only phone in our home in Belton, Missouri. Extensions were deemed a luxury we could easily do without.
Fast forward to present day where a majority carry cell phones and many have smart phones with instant and constant access to the internet in addition to every manner of distraction-inducing technology. Many can't resist using their phone, even to the point of being rude or inconsiderate to others or worse yet making themselves a danger on the highway.
"The Tyranny of the Urgent" describes the oppressiveness of the many demands that come our way regarding our time. The tyranny of the urgent is essentially the oppressive compulsion that I have to do it now. When we live in the "tyranny of the urgent" mode day by day we respond to the urgent, while often neglecting the important.
Hummel writes, "Have you ever wished for a thirty hour day? Surely this extra time would relieve the tremendous pressure under which we live. Our lives leave a trail of unfinished tasks. unanswered letters, unvisited friends, unwritten articles, and unread books haunt quiet moments when we stop to evaluate. We desperately need relief." But don't you suppose we would quickly be in the same position even if we had a thirty hour day?
Today as we encounter everyday life at what seems for many of us an increasingly frantic pace we do well to read and apply the words of the ancient Psalmist, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Havergal offers the antidote to living in a blast of hurry in the refrain to her great hymn. We hope you periodically sing it in your church and that its message remains tucked in your heart and informs your mind.
"Stayed upon Jehovah,
Hearts are fully blest,
Finding, as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest.
We encourage you to keep your heart stayed upon Jehovah this new year of 2015.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You know that many of my days are spent at a frantic pace. Often it's due to my improper use of time, other times it's responding to unexpected needs that arise. As I invite You to examine my heart and mind, I lay before You the people, projects, and pursuits that drain me of needed peace and rest and further away from a heart and mind that is fully submitted to You. Though You have not removed me bodily from this world, You have raised me up spiritually to find peace and rest even as I carry out my daily duties. As a vehicle needs fuel to properly function, I need Scripture and prayer to uphold and equip me for the day that lies ahead so I place this discipline at the top of my list and submit all other duties in accordance to Your leading. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Current events: As we prepare these messages we are aware of the turmoil in so many places such as yesterday's Islamic terror attack in Paris. Practically every day some event or usually events happen that could drive these messages but we rarely allow this to happen. This does not mean we are not aware though and do make these events a matter of prayer.
I was perusing Doris High's photo blog and on this cold day a sip of hot coffee never looked more appealing. Add to that a colorful mug that bears a good message and you've got a winning photo!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Like A River Glorious" Video Smucker Family
"Be Still and Know" Video Steven Curtis Chapman
The "Tyranny of the Urgent" is available to read online as a pdf (it's only four pages). It's an older booklet but has a timeless message.
Too funny! A parody "It's All About Me" video that's actually far to true!
Finally today: Consider the selfie, which is a relatively recently phenomenon. Old cameras had a timer. You set it and then hustled to get in the photo. That's why this ad is so funny. Notice the anachronism of a couple taking a selfie with an ancient camera during football's first halftime! Video (it's a very brief scene)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"
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Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.
Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version. Other versions are also occasionally used.
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