Advent 2017

As Ann Voskamp says: “Advent, it’s made of the moments.”  Here are my thoughts after my first day of Advent with The Greatest Gift book by Ann.

Be aware, be awake, be whole, be still, be in His presence. This is the gift of Christmas, being open enough to receive the gift of His presence. Stay tender, stay in love with everyone and everything.This is how we experience Him in this realm, this world. What is Christmas without Him, nothing but stress. He makes it what it is meant to be, beautiful. He is coming for us because He loves us. Feel His love, this is the ultimate gift. Meet with Jesus in the realm of silence, your own mind and heart. You have to be willing to choose to take time to go there and visit Him. He’s waiting for you there.

I have been sort of love sick lately for Jesus. Every so often He does reveal Himself to me personally, like it says in the Bible. Some people may argue that faith isn’t feeling but without faith you won’t have feeling. Since the Bible speaks of experiencing God then that’s what I want. The Bible speaks of being flooded with God’s presence, if I can’t make myself aware of His presence then what’s the use? God intends for us to feel Him, feel His love and I will always search for Him. In Ann’s book she asks this question: When we’re blind to grace, is the miracle we get that we get homesick for Him? I’m here to say YES! I have felt this way lately! Here is my answer to overcoming the feeling, recognize His grace towards me. This leads me to counting all the ways He loves me. This is what makes me aware of His presence with me.

Ann Voskamp quote,” Jesus invites us into the Real Story if we’re willing to let Perfect Love kick a poisoning fear to the curb. ”

Choose to live in the God Story, not what we hear on the news, see on the streets or what we hear people say that is negative. Be present in God’s Word, what He says is the Story to read, to live, to stay in. All the rest is counterfeit, untrue living, dead life. No Life. There is only life in Jesus! Perfect love, perfect peace.

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The Sound Of Silence

During the week of my wilderness I came across an old song called The Sound Of Silence. It’s actually a remake and it’s really good. The band Disturbed remade the song, here it is on You Tube

I liked it because I felt it.  As it starts out saying, hello darkness my old friend, I sank into the song. I was so moved by this video, also I looked up the meaning to the song and was amazed at what I found. I am going to insert what I found on songmeanings.com.

My Verse by verse interpretation:

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
—–
~
Hello Enlightened people,
To me, this song also represents the improper communication with our mind.
Our mind is The sound of silence.
It is ON when you close ur eyes.
It has to be listened, respected to believe and followed.
As the writer did, and we get this ultimate song.
—–

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
Beneath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
—–
~
Now we open our eyes.
We look everywhere around us.
We switch on our TV.
We get majority of our thoughts from Screens(TV/Movies) i.e. Neon god.
We fill ourself with thoughts of People, Lifestyle, War, Fashion, Money, Cars,etc.
This makes our mind ponder to a thought.
—–

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one deared
Disturb the sound of silence
—–
~
When we watch TV, we find that we try to follow it in our life to completeness.
We follow it even though its fake and manipulated
to fulfill some person’s financial needs.
In screens, Actors just speak lines.
In screens, Actors just hear lines.
In screens, Actors dont express their actual thoughts.
Everyone is afraid to touch what one’s mind feels like speaking.
They are mere spectators, powerless and hollow from inside.
As they dont touch their own mind(sound of silence).
So we follow them too by being spectators and powerless in our life too.
We dont touch our what our mind(sound of silence) say.
——
“Fools,” said I, “you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence
—–
~
The writer here ask us to act(Hear my words,take my arms).
Because if we keep only following screens
and dont listen to our own mind(sound of silence)
Then we will run after things dictated by screens our whole life.
We have no idea why we are doing that way and complain till end.
Because we have no idea what we really want and where our happiness lies.
Thats why everyday, we feel so hollow inside.
This hollowness(cancer) grows bigger and bigger.

But still nobody wants to touch that sound of silence(mind)
We look out for solution even though every solution is inside us.
We dont listen, we just hear it.
and its accumulated in the sound of silence(mind) which we never listen.

—–
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the signs said the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence
—–
~
But still we go on with our screens(Neon god).
Neon god laughs here and says to the writer
“Throughtout ages, all the prophets of all the religions have been saying the same things. Earlier it was kings then society, now its screens.
Their have found their place in outside world only (on walls and books)
not inside (the mind).
If they werent successful, where do you stand?
You will also find yourself at the same place i.e. outside the mind”

Thats why millions may have listened to the songs.
Thousands have sung.
Hundreds have interpreted it.
But very few will follow it even then.
We will still follow our neon gods,
And not listen to our sound of silence.
Thus this song will hold significance till mankind remains,
and we will just laugh at this paradox.

shiningdeadon November 15, 2009   Link
So, after all this I decided to start Advent with my Ann Voskamp book The Greatest Gift. The very first entry  stood out to me. She quoted Frederick Buechner, ” In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff in the air of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.”
I couldn’t believe I saw the sound of silence again! I feel this is God speaking to me to go inward, inside myself to meet with Him. I read somewhere yesterday that there is a place in your heart that remains pure, untouched, this is where Jesus lives. We have to find that place and go there often. We have to share what we know of the unseen world with others so they know that it does exist! Let’s wake up to what is happening to our souls, what the world is trying to do to our souls. Stay connected to yourself and God and then connect with other people! This is essential for the growth of humanity! Our spirits need connection and to feel love, God’s love. We ache for it and don’t even know it. I’m here to tell you this, ” UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” From The Lorax movie.

I Pray Your Faith Doesn’t Fail

Jesus said this to Peter, “but I have prayed [especially] for you [Peter], that your faith [and confidence in Me] may not fail; and you, once you have turned back again [to Me], strengthen and support your brothers [in the faith].” Jesus knew Peter would deny Him when He went to the cross but He prayed that Peter would return and strengthen his brothers to keep moving forward in the faith.

I had written previously about my Bible Study on Faith and how I got sick and couldn’t complete the little books I was making. I had said then that I didn’t understand why that was happening to me. I have since figured it out. It came to me in a song from Elevation Church, my flesh failed. It wasn’t my faith in God to help me complete it that failed, it was my flesh. The name of the song is Give Me Faith. I also stumbled across something on You Tube about following your flesh that helped me. I had felt so bad, like a failure for not finishing the books but now I see that I was working against a force beyond my control. If I knew then what I know now, that Satan is a flesh devil and this is the only way he can tempt us, then maybe with my faith in practice I could have been strong in Jesus and defeated him.

I have had a sort of wilderness experience this past couple of weeks. During this time I felt sad and distant from God. I have felt like I have lost Him. But I learned that Satan is spiritually dead and can only come at me through my flesh. With God’s Word I can defeat him like Jesus did. This is why it’s so important to know God’s Word. We really don’t know when we are going to need it. When you are in a place of distance it’s hard to get back. You know what you need to do to get there but you can’t make yourself do it. It’s like Satan has a grip on you. If you are ever in this situation I recommend asking other believers for prayer. I asked my sister. Night before last my husband told me the next morning I was having a nightmare and woke me up and all I said was ‘thank you’. I don’t remember any of it, all I can guess is I was fighting demons because I feel so much better now. I also had a dream before that where I said that I’m bored with my life and my days aren’t fulfilling. This is Satan again trying to bring me down. Boredom is evil. God showed me a book that looks interesting called Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist . It’s about slowing down and stopping yourself from the pride of trying to be perfect. It’s about having a soulful relationship with God, meaningful. I’m going to give it a try.

I listened to Jim Caviezel  the other day and he said every time we sin we are denying Jesus. He is the guy who played Jesus in the Passion Of The Christ. I thought how right he is but Jesus knows ahead of time that we will do this and He loves us anyway. That’s the Good News that Jesus died WHILE we were and are still sinners. That’s the beauty of His love! We only have to have faith in Him. Faith that He is who He says He is and He is our way to heaven. If our faith doesn’t fail Satan can’t touch us. As it says in Hebrews 2:14, 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil. Jesus broke the power of Satan over us, we have to choose life! God has given us authority over our own choices, it’s up to us to kick the devil out!