Be Still and Know…


If this crazy loud world of a cacophony of sounds were thrust into sudden muteness, would you embrace that silence? Or, would you become anxious or fearful if every noise ceased and try desperately to listen for any hint of sound? Silence can be deafening.

Cardinal and woodpecker

Photo compliments of Ann Essock Higdon

“Be still and know…” scripture admonishes, but stillness requires silence. Silence screams, “LISTEN!” You strain your ears and force yourself to take note of any sound however small. Silence roars into the emptiness that fills a lonely heart.

Quieting your spirit in the midst of turmoil can give a new perspective. Silence can bring rest and renewal. In your quietness and confidence in God Almighty, new strength arises from within. Mother Teresa said, “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.”

One man occasionally practiced a self-decreed ‘word fast.’ He spoke only when spoken to and refused to say anything, regarding it as worthless chatter. He believed it freed him socially and liberated him emotionally. He could then choose his words wisely and speak words worth hearing.

Jesus knew the value of rest and silence. He stole away in the early morning hours to be still before His Father so He could receive direction for his day and gain strength and power.

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Photo: Pixabay – Creative Commons CC0

Learn to listen. Learn to be still. The few moments spent in silence will renew your strength and may make all the difference in your day.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary;  they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

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More devotions such as this can be found in Thoughts for Evening Time: Devotions to Ponder, available Amazon.com or a signed copy from the author on the side panel.

 

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Perspective


“When you were born, everyone was happy, and you were the only one crying. When you die, will everyone be crying while you’re the only one happy?” (Dr. James Bradford). Life and death put everything in perspective. No matter who we are or claim to be, we all face the same fate. When we look at the world through God’s eyes, through His perspective on the bigger picture, it all begins to become clear.

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The Forming of Faith & the Power of Prayer


How is faith formed? “Little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept,” the Bible says.

Nora & Violet - 1915

Nora & Violet Iverson -age 10- circa 1919

Without warning young Violet began to have jerking episodes when she was ten years old. Her legs would not allow her to stand, making her fall to the floor. Her speech became garbled, and her arms flopped like a rag doll. Having no control, she would make terrible facial grimaces, easily stumble, and drop things on a consistent basis. Some said she had ‘dropsy’ – her family called it “St. Vitus Dance.” Today it is known as Sydenham’s chorea. Her twin sister was not affected.

THE POWER OF PRAYER

The Iverson’s were a poor farm family with nine children. In 1919, not many doctors knew how to treat this malady, other than trying to calm the victim down.

The Iverson’s were a church-going people. They attended the Church of the Brethren, which later became the Pentecostal Church. Townsfolk called them “holy rollers.” When the Great Azusa Street Revival broke out in California and then spread across the nation in the early 1900s, the family was taken up with the sawdust revival tent meetings.

The family fervently believed in God and were confident He heard and would answer their prayers. Martin Iverson decided to take his young daughter to a healing service at one of the early “brush arbor” meetings. They believed for a miracle and eventually, Violet’s shaking and jerking episodes stopped. The symptoms never returned.

FUTURE PIANO PLAYER?

There was nothing in my mother’s mind that prayer couldn’t fix, and she taught me how to believe in faith. When I was six, my right ring finger was severed when the wind caught the steel door at my father’s gas station. The finger was sewed back on, but my parents were told I would never have feeling nor a fingernail, and maybe not much mobility. Mother prayed. She refused that outcome; her daughter was going to play the piano.

Candace at piano-age 4My mother began teaching me to play the piano at age five. Later in her 50s, she developed arthritis in her hands and found herself unable to play as the church pianist.  She called on me to take her place; I was only twelve years old. She taught me the love of music and how to serve my Lord by letting Him ‘play through my fingers’—with a fully-healed finger and no loss of mobility. She taught me the power of prayer and the power of God.

CAN PRAYER HEAL?

My mother, Violet, gave testimony many times to the healing power of prayer. She believed God could answer any simple prayer of faith. “It wasn’t the prayer we prayed, but to whom we prayed. God is our Healer and our Provider,” she proclaimed. “He hears us when we pray.”

How is faith formed? Little by little – experience by experience. 

 

Candace on piano-age18.jpg

A severed finger healed, a seemingly dead dog coming back to life, and a fifth-grade teacher who reminded me, “You always are taller when you are on your knees.”

How about you? What will you believe?

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1-New Living Translation)

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THoughts- side viewThis true story, plus many others are written in the devotional, Thoughts for Evening Time – Devotions to Ponder. Available on Amazon.com in digital for only 99c or read for free with Kindle Unlimited. Paperback version is also available– or get your signed copy by ordering from this website.

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The Pursuit of Dependence


FLAG & SOLDIERS

Spraypaint artwork by C.A. Simonson (c)2016

I’m free! I have rights!” This is portrayed in a lot of different ways lately. The right to free speech, however volatile it may be. The right to post, pin, and tweet–whatever goes. We have the right to say whatever or act however we want. Right? But is it right? 

In our pursuit of liberty and happiness, there is another right we should have – the right of dependence. Our forefathers fought hard to give us independence and freedom. Our military and law enforcement strive to keep these liberties and freedoms for future generations. We owe a debt of gratitude to all of them, and to those who follow in their footsteps.

Everyone wants their independence, but think how dependent we are each and every moment….

The Right of Dependence

We must be dependent on the Lord to give us another day and the breath to breathe each morning. We depend upon our body to obey our mind’s commands to walk, eat, or sleep. We depend upon the sun to keep our earth warmed by day, and for the moon to keep our oceans in place and for gravity to keep balance aligned. 

We depend on inanimate objects and other entities as well. We need our appliances to work and serve us well; for our vehicles to get us to work, and on a job that will keep on bringing in the paychecks. We depend on the government to uphold law and order in an effort to keep job security and our family safe. We depend upon farmers to keep sowing crops and raising livestock to keep us fed, and then for shopkeepers to treat us fairly. We depend upon hospitals and churches to keep us healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually and for ministers and advisors to inspire and encourage.

Life holds a great paradox

In order to be really free and independent, we must be willing to serve and be dependent on one another. We must voluntarily give ourselves away before we can receive again. We must lose ourselves before we can be found, and empty ourselves before we can be filled and fulfilled again.Everyone must depend on others daily. We could not survive without each other. Everyone has his or her own purpose and mission to fulfill in this life. We need each other, whether we like it or not.

How? By serving others and putting others before our own needs. By treating others the way we want to be treated. By freely giving of ourselves, our time, our energy, our talents, our money, our efforts to help someone else with no thought of a favor returned, we can find what it is to be free indeed. Giving simply because we want to – and that lifestyle leads to the greatest satisfaction and independence of all.
Every day can be an independence day as we learn to think and live for one another.

“When someone staggers, we help steady the load. If he is straining, we help bear the burden. And if he stumbles, we lift him up. Helping Christian believers is fulfilling what Christ wants us to do.” (Galatians 6:2/paraphrased)

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Find more “thoughts to ponder” in Thoughts for Evening Time…Devotions to Ponder”  on Amazon.com

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What Do Your Eyes Say?


They say your eyes are the windows to your soul. Warm, glowing eyes speak love. Narrowed eyes can shoot daggers. It is easy to understand the saying, “If looks could kill.” You can easily read people’s feelings through their eyes. You can see shyness or pride, a look of disdain or a look of acceptance. Pain is apparent, as is loneliness or rejection. Happy eyes sparkle; vacant eyes show hopelessness or depression.

Esten

My father had soft brown eyes. He used his eyes to correct, to approve, to disapprove, and to honor. His eyes were gentle and loving. I never saw hate in those eyes against anyone. If there was anger, it was directed towards an object or circumstance, but not a person. His eyes spoke acceptance and friendship to all. He never raised his hand to strike or spank, nor can I remember any harsh words…but I remember his eyes.

I never wanted to get that ‘look.’ His eyes showed disappointment when I did something that brought him displeasure because he knew I was capable of better. And in that look, I knew I could and would do better the next time. I didn’t want to disappoint my dad. I didn’t fear that look, but it hurt my heart to hurt his. Dad guided with his eyes.

Our Father God’s eyes are ever watchful over his children too. Eyes full of compassion and love, mercy and grace. Everything is open before him and nothing can be hidden. “The eye is the lamp of the body. You draw light into your body through your eyes, and light shines out to the world through your eyes. So if your eye is well and shows you what is true, then your whole body will be filled with light.” (Matthew 6:22)

May we be so filled with light, so full of might so that everything we do, will be right in His sight.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)

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99c devotion adRead and meditate on more devotionals in Thoughts for Evening Time: Devotions to Ponder – available on Amazon.com

 

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Mama Taught Much Without Saying a Word


Violet on her wedding day - Oct.10-1920

Violet, on her wedding day – October 29, 1929

There are advantages to being born last. With brother and sisters grown and gone, I grew up like an only child. Having a child all to herself in her middle-age years, Mother wasn’t lonely.

Nora & Violet - 1915

Twins, Nora & Violet Iverson (6-4-1909)

Violet Agnes Iverson was born a twin on June 4, 1909. She lost her twin sister, Nora, to a bout of pneumonia combined with the flu in 1926 when she was only 17 years old. Two years later, Violet met the love of her life and married Esten Woodland, twelve years her senior, on October 29, 1929. It was the day the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. They lived through tough and meager years, lost the first child to an early death, birthed three more children, and decided their family was done. Thirteen years after their youngest was born, a surprise came their way — me.

What I Learned Growing Up Last

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Who is God?


Image may contain: water

Who is God?

Creator of Heaven and Earth
Master of the Universe – the Omnipotent,
All-Powerful One

What is God?

Unfathomable, Omniscient One Who knows all – sees all.
He is the Deep beyond deep going into the depths of my soul.

Where is God?

Everywhere – at all times – at all places:
the Omnipresent One
Who will never leave me nor forsake me
no matter the heights I soar
or the lowest hell to which I descend.

When is God?

Forever and for always.
The Alpha and the Omega.

C.A. Simonson

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Accepted by Museum Contempo (Olympia, WA)juried in for the fine arts museum and the book, Who is God? Creations  (My paintings are done with spray paint and a spatula).

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