Cutting Through the Chaos to Listen

By: Deron Vaupel, Ministry Administrator

seagullMy house is pretty loud. That’ll happen with a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. Hourly nonsensical screaming, arguing with each other, and songs randomly being sung at the top of their lungs are the norm. Trying to cut through the noise can be challenging, but it’s often necessary because important things need to be communicated: go brush your teeth, don’t sit on your brother, and many other statements I never really expected I’d have to say.

Psalm 46 contains a pretty well-known command: Be still and know that I am God. What’s truly fascinating is that the rest of the chapter (just 11 verses) describes absolute chaos. In the midst of that, God is calling us to ‘be still’ and refocus our understanding that He is exalted, He is in control.

I’ve never had an easy time listening to God. My mind too quickly jumps to everything else that’s on my list. That’s even more true when I’m stressed or anxious, when there’s a lot of chaos around me. But as I’ve thought through what it means to really listen, to take that time to have my focus shifted back to what’s important, I find a great reminder right in front of me. As I try to cut through the chaos to get my boys to listen to me, I will use those times to also, if even briefly, listen for those quick reminders from God that He’s in control.

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Connecting With And Knowing Jesus

By: Vince Miller, Teaching Pastor
knowing Jesus“When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.”  –Luke 24: 30-35
It would not have been strange for a few Passover pilgrims to join up along the road while traveling. In this passage, Cleopas and an unnamed disciple are in an intense discussion, walking along the way to Emmaus. Given the weekend’s events — the crucifixion of Jesus — this conversation was remarkably full of emotion and question. Little did they know, the risen Christ was walking and talking with them. They paused for the evening and invited Jesus, the stranger, to stay with them, as was their custom.
Jesus throughout this whole experience pretends to be unaware of the recent events. And Cleopas goes on to explain their understanding of Jesus, yet the disciples seemed to understand everything explained except the living fact that Jesus was right before them. But as Jesus breaks bread, this moment of devotion opens their “eyes.” So why? Clearly it had something to do with their communion that changed what they knew and how they connected to Jesus. This is because there is a cavernous difference between knowing about someone and truly knowing someone. Connecting those two sets of knowledge gave the men a glimpse of the risen Lord!
DO THIS TODAY: Connect with Christ in a deeper way today, not just with knowledge about but relational knowledge.