The Silence is Screaming

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We all know the story of Cain and Abel, the first murder in the Bible, jealousy, rage, and pride at it’s worst.  God came to Cain and asked,

“Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord said, “What have you done?  Listen! Your brothers blood cries out to me from the ground.” Genesis 4:9-10.

Cain killing Abel is a tragic story but what I want to focus on is God’s statement to Cain. This is a fascinating verse because we can learn so much about how we are created and the impact of our lives.  Hebrew, the original language of this text, is such a rich language. The word ‘blood’ in this verse is from a root word that literally means silent, be still, to make silent, die.

That which was silent was calling out.

God heard something from the silence of Abel. He says to Cain, “Listen to the silence of your brothers voice – the silence of the gift (*see footnote) I gave Abel is crying out to me.”  It’s as if when God created the Universe he gave everyone a beautiful part in the grandest symphony ever written. Abel’s life had a purposeful sound, he had a voice and the silence of that voice was like screaming to God.  The absence of his beautiful creation named Abel was a loud noise. And because Abel was dead not only was his silence screaming but every child and grandchild and great grandchild’s silence was screaming too.

We all have been give a voice, a sound, a part to play in the symphony.

Each one of us is created with purpose, a gift of Grace and Glory to spread upon the Earth. When a life is cut short, like Abel’s, the gift that was designed to impact the Earth is missing and the World will never be the same. Likewise, when we silence our own voice, if we hide the Grace and Glory we’ve been given, the absence of our gift is screaming. Our silence on the Earth is a deafening noise to Heaven. And until we start Being the Earth is less than it should be.

Often our voice is silent because we don’t know who we are or what we are called to do. Knowing ourselves is a key first step in walking out our destiny. If we don’t know our importance and what we are to be it’s impossible to live it.  Only in Jesus are we truly known. God is the only one who can see us perfectly.  On the Earth we have clouded vision; when we get to Heaven we will see perfectly as He sees.  For now we look to Him to help us see.  He knows us fully and as we look upon Him he reveals to us what He sees in us. It doesn’t hurt that He created us and so He knows us inside and out.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. I Corinthians 13:12

The more we gaze upon Jesus, the more we know Him, the more clearly we see ourselves. The more clearly we see ourselves the more we know the Grace we’ve been given and the Glory we are to shine upon the World around us.

Another reason we might be silent is fear; fear of failure, fear of judgment, fear that people won’t like us.  Ridding ourselves of fear requires us to know the love of God.  Perfect love casts out all fear. But along with knowing perfect love we must deconstruct the fortress of lies in our mind that contradict the Truth in us. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) These strongholds protect the lies we believe and they must be taken down for us to freely move forward in our destiny.

Do you want to stop your silence from screaming?

Do you need to find yourself, to know yourself, to see yourself more clearly?

Start now.  Start asking questions. Start praying. Start reading God’s word. Seek Truth. Ask for help.

God is faithful, He promises us that those who seek – find!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

Recommended reading and Footnotes:

The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallottan

The Lies We Believe by Dr Chris Thurman

Victorious Mindsets & Cracks in Our Foundation both by Steve Backlund

*I first heard the concept about the silence of Abel’s gift mentioned in Kris Vallottan’s sermon during the Prophetic Conference March 2004 at Bethel Church

CPR for the Soul

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Criticism is easy to come by but encouragement can change someone’s day and may even change their life.

Encourage. Inspire. Invigorate. Uplift.

I was actually opposed to blogging.  I had a ton of ignorant thoughts about the blogosphere and they even kept me from reading blogs. But a friend of mine just kept encouraging me to write.  In her soft, sweet Southern way she prodded me. And here I am – writing.  Years ago I would write all the time and then I hit a wall. It became easy to make excuses and then day after day I just didn’t do it anymore. Without my friends’ recent encouragement I doubt you would be reading this now. (You can read her amazing blog about connecting to a life of significance here). Once I started Make It Plain on Tablets something inside me ignited and now I can’t keep from writing or thinking about writing.  It’s been amazing!

English: CPR training
Image via Wikipedia

We all need revival from time to time.  Somehow we get distracted from our goals, give up, settle for less.  We need a life giving word of encouragement to get us going, to keep us going or to bring us back to our life. Revival. Like CPR for the soul.

Encouragement isn’t flattery. Flattery is a type of sweet talk or praise that has manipulation at it’s core.  Flattery is a way to get people to do what you want them to do. A way to get them to feel a certain way so that you feel a certain way. It’s self serving. Encouragement is about helping others do what God has designed them to do.

Encouragement is looking at someone and seeing how amazing they are and telling them about it.  Often we don’t see ourselves or circumstances clearly.  Our vision is clouded by failures or the grandness of our hope. We need someone to see us from the outside and remind us of the truth in us.

Jonathan coaching our son with his first time on the rock wall.

Maybe you feel like you are the one who needs encouragement  and that you have nothing to give. My word to you is find someone else to encourage.  It’s funny – when you start to encourage someone else somehow you get encouraged.  And it’s contagious! Try it. But by all means don’t let me stop you from asking God to show you how He sees you and then staring yourself in the mirror and declaring to yourself that you were designed on purpose and for a great purpose, that you can receive the grace to do it, stop it, make it, choose it, build it, move it, write it or whatever your IT is. You are amazing and nothing less!

Set your eyes to find someone to encourage this week. When you take the time to look at others with intentions of hope it’s easy to see their truth. Then take that next step and tell them about it.

Consider leaving a comment below on how you plan to take on this challenge or how it goes or share an idea for other readers on ways to encourage.

The Greatest Man I Never Knew

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The ties to family don’t seem to be as important to people as they used to; but whether we recognize it or not we all need the love of a father.
Father & Son

While living in Texas back in the mid 1990s’s I was moved to send my Dad a copy of  a Reba McEntire album for Father’s Day.  At the time I had been doing some soul searching and I heard her song, The Greatest Man I Never Knew.  The lyrics stuck a chord in me. (I am not a huge country music fan – but like I said – at the time I was living in Texas…what can I say.)

I realized that Dad and I had what I would call an “administrative” relationship.  We could talk about how to buy a house or fix a toilet or how I was doing in school.  But we never talked about anything that really mattered. It saddened me that we didn’t have a heart to heart connection. I had a lot of anger and disappointment about my childhood.  I felt abandoned.  But something deep inside me had to believe he did the best he could as a parent with what he had been given.  Regardless, we didn’t have a real relationship.  The truth was I didn’t think he loved me, or maybe he didn’t even like me.

So I sent him the album and a week or so later I got a phone call.  The conversation started generically but then he said he had received the album and listened to it.  He said he couldn’t understand all the words of the song but then he said,

“Are you under the impression that I didn’t love you?”  I was caught off guard, not sure I was ready for the conversation I hoped for.

I paused and then said, “Well, Dad…you never said it.”  It was quiet and then I could hear him choking up on the line.

Then he said with tears, “Debra, for all the times I never said it – I love you, I love you, and I love you!”

We were both crying and I told him I loved him too.

Over the years and with much effort our relationship has grown.

Dad and me on King's River in Alaska

My Dad and I recently talked about the above exchange and he shared with me that when I told him I didn’t think he loved me he was “blown away!”  He said out of all the kids he said I had so much opportunity. (There’s eleven of us and I’m the baby.) I realized then that he showed me love by doing his best to provide me with opportunity. I agreed that was probably true. But I told him that what I need most of all is to know that my father loves me; not because I am successful, self sufficient, smart or pretty but simply because I am his! He looked at me with tears in his eyes and with a nod – I knew he did.

Unlike the person in Reba’s song I had this wonderful conversation with my father while he was living.  Not everyone has this opportunity, and sadly some fathers aren’t open to it. But we all still need it – what we need to know without a shadow of a doubt is that we are loved.

The quality of our relationships help define our lives.

I know, for me, having these moments with my father changed my life and how I saw myself. This connection also began a change in how I saw my heavenly father. It’s common for us to ascribe to God the personality and characteristics of one or both of our parents but most often this does not give us an accurate view of who He really is.

No matter how many times I heard that God loved me I didn’t really start believing it until after this encounter with my dad, when I started to believe, I mean really believe that I was lovable. And until my identity was really shaken (a story I’ll share in another post) the knowledge of the love of God remained foggy and uncertain.

Now I am thrilled to know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made,* that even if I do nothing or write nothing (or am just plain rotten) I am lovable.  And nothing – not my mistakes, my present, nor my future can ever change that.*  God loves.  God loves me. God loves you.  Ask Him to reveal to you how He loves you and how amazing you are – He will and you will never be the same!

His is the Father’s love that changes everything!

I would encourage every reader to search their heart about the quality of their relationship with their dads and, if possible, reach out to develop a deeper relationship. It was a scary and vulnerable risk of pain and disappointment for me to reach out to my dad. A risk I learned was worth taking.  But even if the outcome had not been so positive the risk would have been worth it because I would have acted in honesty from the heart. Love never fails.*

Footnotes

*Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” (NIV)

*Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present, nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, can ever separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV)

*I Corinthians 13:4-8a “Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (NIV)

Your responses are welcome and your “Likes” and “Shares” are appreciated.  Please write a reply below.

The King has a Dream

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Today is the national day of memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Perhaps you enjoying the day off!

from Billboard.com

I admit it’s shallow, yet nevertheless true, that in the past I rarely have given Dr. King much thought on this day – I was simply happy for a three day weekend much like I had on Memorial Day or Veterans Day (of course, this was before I was married to a Veteran and became so much more reverent of such days).

Several months ago I was reading a book called Heavy Rain by Kris Vallotton where he quoted two speeches from Dr King.  I was brought to tears by the words of this world changing man and determined in that moment that my children would read and study the writings and life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am not at all qualified to expound much on the historical, political and social significance of Dr. King but I know what’s touched my heart. And to that I can speak.

Scene from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Where Martin Luther King, Jr gave his famous “I have a Dream” speech.

A dream.  Dr. King had a dream.  He dreamed of the world as it could be not only as it was. He saw the world with Kingdom eyes and with grace and resolve he lived to see it realized.

The day before his assassination Dr. King gave a less famous speech titled “I have been to the mountaintop.”  In that speech he said:

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has it’s place. But I am not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land. And I am happy tonight. I am not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

It is right to care for our health. Eat well, be active – steward our bodies and environment. Prepare for longevity. But to live a long life of despair, monotony or regret is not a grand thing. To live without living a dream is not to live.

A dream.  A Dream.

We all have a dream. We were born with dreams knit into us. The adventure of our lives is to search for the dream, the desire of our hearts. **(Proverbs 25:2) When we find it we must nurture it with hope, expectation and ACTION.

God, our King, has a dream and the dream is you. A dream of hope and love and destiny.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,

plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Martin Luther King did not live to see the United States free of social inequality – we still fight for that dream today – but he did live his dream. As he said himself, he has seen the Glory. He lived with purpose, resolve and inner peace.

When we live our dream, walk in our destiny, and dance with hope, we too live with purpose resolve and peace. It is to our glory to search out our dreams and purpose but it is an even greater glory to live out those dreams.

The King has a dream. Have you dreamt the dream He has for you?

In honor of one of God’s great dreamers start this day to seek that dream and then do something to see it come to life.

Footnotes

** Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of the Lord to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. (NIV)

Consider reading: Dreaming with Godby Bill Johnson

Hidden Treasures

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The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field…”

Matthew 13:44

After months ~ I was inspired.

My husband and I started talking about the meaning of the above verse which was the topic of the children’s story he read to our two boys before bed. We enjoyed a wonderful conversation of mutual sharing and edification but in the midst of it I discovered a spark of passion – a passion over a book I hadn’t cracked in months.

hear the Word often in sermons and songs, I share the Word daily in life lessons and memory verses to my children, I pray the Word I have stored within me but I haven’t picked up the Book and read the Word in…I can’t remember how long… and that night something came alive in me…again.

For many years now I have identified myself as a writer (though I haven’t written anything new in years).  I have lacked direction and focus. I am a stay at home mother of three children under 3 and a half – all still in diapers.  Needless to say I am distracted and busy – I love it! It is a life I have prayed for.  I haven’t dedicated much time to writing and frankly haven’t really missed it.

Yet in the back of my mind I hear an echo of a promise,

a prayer,

a prophetic word that I am to write.

It whispers,“Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets… Habakkuk 2:2a

I have found a treasure, it isn’t the first time that I found it – though I find I am excited as if it were new to me.

The Word of God… Jesus… (John 1:1) The Kingdom of Heaven…

So here I am – starting this blog and taking steps in becoming who I am and who He has called me to be.


Not your average IPAD tablet

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So you might be wondering what in the world does Make it Plain on Tablets mean.  It’s a phrase taken from an Old Testament verse (NIV) Habbakuk 2:2

Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets that a herald may run with it.

In Habbakuk’s day tablets meant stones with words carved or marked on them.  Not so easy to run with – but I suppose they didn’t know any different.  Today tablet has come to mean a whole other medium.

This type of tablet makes it amazingly easy to run with information!

Habbakuk had been given a specific message from God to His people.  He spoke of violence and injustice, greed and the economy, perversion, and self sufficency. The ails of our world seem to be timeless. This old prophet had a message of encouragement and hope to share with God’s people.

Make it Plain on Tablets is a blog where I will share what I believe God is sharing with me, a place I will share my story and testimonies, and a venue where I hope to provoke the reader into devotion AND action.