Consistently Pondering

The #31days2019 writing challenge has been quite an interesting adventure. I’ve participated in this annual October event for a number of years, and not one year has been like another. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s part of the draw for me.

What’s unusual about this year is that I’ve given myself a whole lot of freedom and grace. While I have daily pondered the one word, I have not daily posted to my blog site. Most days I’ve written at least five minutes in my mind. Some days I’ve journaled about the one word. Then when I have posted, it’s because I felt a strong prompting to share the message.

In short, I have felt compelled during these October days to spend more time in prayer, searching scriptures that connect with the day’s word and listen. Listen for the lessons Holy Spirit wants to highlight.

My goal this year is to grow. I want to be teachable. I’m asking for refinement. Seeking to have no bitter root grow up in my heart.

Has it been easy for me to receive grace and freedom from myself?

Absolutely not! Posting only occasionally in a 31 day challenge feels like I should receive a grade of incomplete at best. Realistically, if at the end of October I’ve only posted half the days I should fail the course.

However, the heart work of remaining consistent with the daily pondering adds far greater value to my faith walk. And denying myself the fear of man might be a more important challenge than daily posting proof of my work.

I know that you delight to set your truth deep in my spirit. So come into the hidden places of my heart and teach me wisdom.
Psalms 51:6 TPT

Consistent. I’m not perfectly consistent with spiritual disciplines of one particular sort. Simply consistent am I in wanting to see and hear Jesus interactive in my life today.

Consistent. Father. Jesus. Holy Spirit. Perfectly consistent. And I want to be enrolled in my Lord’s school of wisdom.

That’s how I see it. What do you think?

Eyes on Jesus and SHINE,


Listening Up Close and Personal

Did you listen?

The video. Did you listen? If you didn’t take time to listen to the video, will you? Please?

What did you hear?

The surf. As you listen to the surf, what are your impressions bubbled to the surface?

Did you listen for the full 28 seconds? Or did you quickly move on because you’ve heard the ocean surf before?

Did you hear me say, “Yet will the rocks cry out!”?

If you were able to hear it, you might wonder why that was my very first comment as I stood for the first time on the California coastline.

Here… Listen again. Let me zoom in close.

The distinction in the sounds of the waves crashing on the shoreline versus the soothing, even tinkling sound of the water running through the rocks was immediate for me. I grew up on the east coast of the US, and my beach experience involves shells rather than rocks piled along the sandy shore.

Also, I was present. I was listening in person. The sounds were 3D and involved all of my senses. I could walk along the sand and distinguish the sounds of the waves from the sounds of the rocks and birds and the voices of people and the wind blowing.

In short, I was listening – up close & personal.

While there in California I wanted to capture the unique sounds of the surf in the rocks, which caused my first response to be…

“Yet will the rocks cry out!”

Fortunately, I listened to the first video before we left the beach, and realized the sound of the rocks was not distinguishable. Determined to bring the sound home with me, I decided I needed to hold my phone (on video) down close to the rocks and the surf. It was risky, but worth it to me to be able to play it back now and remember.

This morning I read the passage of Scripture in Matthew 17, which recounts the transfiguration of Jesus up on the high mountain. Interestingly, Jesus selected only three of His disciples to journey with Him that day. Jesus took them up close & personal to experience Him in communion with His Father.

The experience involved all the senses. They saw Jesus’ face shine like the sun and His clothes become as white as light. Suddenly, they realized their congregation had increased as they witnessed Moses and Elijah speaking to Jesus.

Could they even comprehend what was happening? It was a unique experience. I’m pretty sure if cell phones had been invented Peter would have attempted to take a selfie and possibly record the conversations to play for the others later. Instead, Peter began talking and tried to make a plan for how to preserve the moment the old fashioned way – by setting up tents.

However, Father God broke in with an up close & personal message for all present. A bright cloud enveloped the group and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

The in person experience caused the three men to fall facedown to the ground. They were terrified as their senses took in this up close listening experience. But Jesus touched them and told them to get up. He assured them in His regular earthly skin that they did not need to be afraid. Moses and Elijah were gone. The cloud was no longer surrounding them.

Yet, would they ever forget the time Jesus took them up close & personal to listen? I doubt they needed a recording.

And, I doubt I will forget the lesson I learned about listening in real life with all my senses rather than through the distractions of media. I’m determined more and more to listen up close & personal, especially tuning in for the quieter voice of Holy Spirit.

That’s the way I see it. What do you think?

Eyes on Jesus and SHINE,