No Threat Can Match the Sound of Heaven by Rev. Deborah Richardson

Sitting Under A Juniper Tree by Raymond Horner Jr.
Sitting Under a Juniper Tree

1 Kings 19: 1-13

It was just a few weeks ago, while riding to work, a song played on the radio. I was singing along silently bobbing my head, and I noticed that my husband was tapping with his hands but differently from the way I was. Being a singer, I was hearing the words, being a drummer, he was tapping to the beat, but he was also hearing the breaks in the music that the other instruments made because his head would tilt this way and that. And his facial expressions indicated that he could hear things that I didn’t.  I tried to hear what he was hearing, but I just couldn’t. I asked him to help me hear what he was hearing. He began to hum and tap out the rhythm and make the sound of the guitar and keyboard, and the bass and drums. Once he pointed it out, I became aware of all the instrumentation and nuances in that song.  It was a familiar song, but that day, I heard it more clearly.

Why Couldn’t I Hear It Before?

I was trying to figure out why couldn’t I hear it before? That is when this thought came to me. I have to know the song well, and I have to tune in to the whole composition because it is not just the words that make a song. It’s the instrumentation and the musicians who understand the message in the song.  My mind then began to think about sound. Once I said the word sound, it clearly came to me that there is a sound of heaven. It’s the sound created by God who uses it to message you and to message me.

Scientifically speaking, there are types of sounds the human ear can detect. The higher frequency sounds above 25 hertz or cycles per second is called ultrasound. It’s used in medicine to crush kidney stones, to view a growing baby in the womb, to heal damaged tissues. Ultrasound is used in weapons that can collapse a building.

Then there are low frequency tones or infrasonic sound which measure about 20-0 hertz or cycles per second. This infrasonic sound is the  frequency range used in monitoring earthquakes, charting rock and petroleum formations below the earth, and also in ballistocardiography  or the study of the heart. Doctors use infrasonic sound to trace how the blood pumps our heart and through these repetitive motions can detect abnormalities. Seismologists us the infrasonic low tones to detect volcanoes, avalanches, and earthquakes. Because infrasound has the ability to get around obstacles with little dissipation. Simply meaning this… The sound that leaves the original source is carried through the wavelengths, the sound is transmitted bouncing back without being impeded. In other words this infrasonic frequency allows the sound to  reverse, but the pressure or the power of the wave remains the same. Nothing is lost in translation!

 

Sometimes God Uses Infrasonic Sound to Speak to His People

God sometimes uses infrasonic sound to speak to His people. He wants us to experience the pressure of the sound as it was disseminated from Him. The word whisper in Hebrew means A Tiny Silent Sound. God speaks in infrasonic sound in our dreams, through promptings, when we pray, or even in opportunities. But we must be tuned in to God or we might miss the message.

The Prophet Elijah found himself in circumstances that called for him to tune in. There was a sound from heaven that he needed to face his situation.

As was read in the scripture, when Ahab reported to Jezebel everything that the Prophet Elijah had done, including the massacre of the false prophets of Baal, she became enraged and sent message to Elijah and threatened that by the same time the next day she was going to get even with him and he would be dead.

This truth I do know, the people of God are always under attack by those who hate God. And unfortunately, we are disliked by those who are in church as well. If we can think that we are in good with unbelievers, just bring up anything about God and your name will be mud and they will try to ruin your name, your position or your reputation. In the church if we are trying to live our best for Christ, we are told we are too holy. It doesn’t take all of that.

Elijah became so afraid, that he ran for his life. I have to admit that sometimes, we do get nervous when people try to destroy us. Sometimes we forget that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Elijah’s mind must have been filled with visions of what Jezebel was going to do to him, so he ran far south of Judah to the Beersheba.

He ran so far and so long that at a certain distance, he left his servant and ran further into the desert.  The came to a bush and collapsed in the shade and was so exhausted that he wanted to die. He prayed, Lord, I have had enough, just take my life!

Have You Ever Felt Like Elijah?

Have you ever been there? The pain of your illness was so excruciating you wanted to die. The betrayal of your spouse cut so deep, that death entered your mine. The bills were surmountable, the collection agency was hounding you, and sleepless nights were constant, death seemed like a viable option. I know some people who have lived through such devastating pain some, physical and some psychological and death seemed liked it was the best way out.

The Prophet Elijah exhausted from fear and despair fell asleep. An angel shook him and woke him up. Told him to get up and eat. A meal of baked bread was there with a jug of cool water. He ate and fell back to sleep. The angel came back and told him to wake up and eat some more because he needed his strength for the journey ahead.

God Sends Angels

Just when we are ready to throw in the towel, God has a way of sending an angel! It might be a parent who comes to you saying, “My son says that you are crying a lot during the school day”. You tell her your husband decided he didn’t want to be married any more. She nods and says, I understand, But, my son is in your class and he needs you. You have got to pull yourself together for your students who are counting on you.

Your angel could be the bank who calls and says, you don’t have to worry about anything because there is a program which you qualify.

Your angel could be the doctor who calls and says, “we have a good news,  your cancer is treatable. “

Your angel could be the person who smiles, hugs, or calls you just when you are about to go into a depression

Angels come, because they bring a sound from heaven that can’t even match the degree of the threat. They are God’s preemptive strike! God is about to deliver and he wants you to hold on a little while longer!

After the Prophet Elijah nourished himself he walked forty days and nights all the way to the mountain of God. He crawled into a cave and went to sleep.

Elijah Heard A Sound

Then he heard a sound from heaven, he heard God talking to him. They have a conversation, and the God told him to go stand on the mountain. While there a hurricane like wind ripped through the mountain and shattered the rock, But GOD was not in the wind. After the winds came an earthquake came, but God was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake, a roaring fire , but God was not in the roaring fire, and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper came at which time the Prophet Elijah covered his because he discerns that God was in the whisper.

Saints of God today’s message was to remind us that God does not always come to us the same way, so we can’t think that how he dealt with us the last time be the only way we will accept He chooses to deal with us.

Sound is one way that he communicates to us. Sometimes he needs to shout and scream to get our attention. Especially if we are so wrap up in our own concerns that we neglect the things of God. Sometimes it is through challenging pain or circumstances to remind us that none of those things hinder Him from being God. But sometimes he uses the infrasound a of whisper to be sure that what you heard is what He said.

God, who on that same mountain used fire and smoke with Moses is now whispering in a still small voice to His servant Elijah. In that small voice he was able to quiet is spirit and give him the further instructions needed for the days ahead.

A Whisper, Why a Whisper?

·       When you whisper, you use your breath without using your vocal cords for the sake of privacy.

·       A whisper is intimate because you must be close to hear it. Since it’s intimate, it’s tailor made because not everyone is supposed to hear it. God whispered to the Prophet Elijah because he had to say somethings to him first to calm him and to remind him that Jezebel’s threats could not touch the man of God. God whispered to encourage him. He needed to be reminded that He was a servant of the most-high!  Finally, God whispered to direct him about the things he needed to do.

There are times when God wants us to press closely into him so he can whisper a word just for us!! He wants to calm our fears, encourage our spirit, and give us the directions that we will need in the coming days.

Because sometimes the sound from heaven is a whisper…

·       A Whisper can Change our mind of confusion into a mind of peace and remind us that He will keep you in perfect if your mind in stayed on Him.

·       A whisper can Change our sense of defeat into a sense of victory and remind us the when God is for us, who can be against us

·       A whisper can Change our carnal perspective into a Godly mindset reminding us that in God we live, we move, and we have our being!

·       A whisper can Bolster our confidence, and remind us that we can   do all things through Christ that Strengthens me

If we would be still and know that God is God! If we would just stop trying to hear what everyone else has to say, then we will hear the sound of heaven that will deliver, heal, and set free!

·       Because no threat can ever match the sound of heaven!!!

 

Quotes About Listening to God

 

“The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent.'” ~ Alfred Brendel

“Listening to God is far more important than giving Him your ideas.” ~ Frank Laubach

“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” ~ Mother Teresa

“Are you learning to say things after listening to God, or are you saying things and trying to make God’s word fit in?” ~ Oswald Chambers

“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.” ~ Malcolm Muggeridge

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~ Winston Churchill

We must tune into the infrasonic sound, so we don’t miss the sound of heaven. Turn off the television, the radio, the cell phone, and even your own voice. Be still and be open so that you can hear the sound from heaven. Hear the whisper of God in the silence of your heart, mind, and soul, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no threat can match the sound of Heaven..

A Very Personal Exercise To Do For 2019 Between You And The Lord

While at the New Years Eve service we to some time between the message, testimonies and praise to do a very personal exercise. This three part exercise  should be done with lots of reflection and very little distractions.

The first part is to record the “baggage” you want to leave behind in 2018. Now, since you are doing this exercise in 2019 it is never too late to dump some luggage you should not be carrying around in 2019.

Click on this link to get the form for you to record your ” need to be discarded emotional and physical luggage.”  Be Honest. Note that the form is repeated on the same page. This way you can make copies and cut the page in half so more than one person can do the exercise. This would be great in a bible study etc.

After you fill out the sheet tear it up or shred it. Discard the pieces.

The next two parts are NOT TO BE TOSSED OUT!

Record those things for which you are THANKFUL . They are your praises for 2018 that should be looked at often to remind you of the things God has done in your life. Share them with yourself and others.

The final part are your DREAMS. Remember to believe that some dreams only the Lord himself can make happen. Give those dreams to Him believing in His Possibilities. Can’t He do it?

Post this sheet where you can refer to it. Make more than one copy if you wish. But do be careful to share these dreams only with those who will encourage you and keep you accountable.

Click Here for the 2019 Letter to God (This is page 2 and attached to the Baggage sheet.)

Have a hopeful dream fill-filled 2019.

Fun Time in the Summer Time at Vacation Bible School 7-2018 Calvary Gospel Church, Newark, New Jersey

The theme for Vacation Bible School at Calvary Gospel Church in Newark, NJ  was “”Jesus, the Kingdom Builder”. On July 2018  volunteers lead by tireless Coordinators Reggie and Monica Hillman launched a fun-filled week long event with bible lessons, crafts, fellowship  singing and never-ending food and snacks.

There is NO MIND like a CHRIST MIND! 1of 7

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series No Mind Like a Christ Mind

What will keep us united and our faith strong?

The power plant of the Christian is a spiritually transformed mind. There is No Mind like a Christ Mind! Romans 12:2 Say’s do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect. I don’t want God to have these words with me that he had with the church at Ephesus in revelation 2:4 “I have this against you that you have left your first love.”

I was reminded on the day before preparing this message of how important the word of God is to the development of relationships in the family. I shared openly ,with my wife, what I had been learning from the scriptures about having the mind of Christ.  We had an exciting exchange of what scriptures where saying to us. It had a unifying effect on us and it convicted my spirit.

I would like to share with you , in upcoming blog posts“Seven Characteristics of a Christ Centered Mind.”

1.    The Mind of Encouragement  (verse 1)

“1Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any  affection and compassion,”

Encouragement is multi-faceted. It at times comforts the sick or emotionally hurting.  Encouragement also helps to redirect those that are going in the wrong direction. Christ both healed the sick and turned tables when folks where selling in the Temple .Mat.21:13 “It states “is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers den.” Hebrew 3:13 say’s that we should “encourage one another day after day, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. “

There is a strong urgency to be an encourager in fact it takes courage to be one. I teach art at a local school, one of my students became tired of working on one of my assignments . Half way through, they asked if they could stop and hand in the project the way it was. I thought for a moment, what if in life they didn’t complete their assignments.   So I said “Sure give me half of your assignment and I will give you half of your grade.”

That was enough of an incentive to complete the full assignment.  They actually relieved an excellent grade for the good work submitted. We are like this at times. We need a little encouragement to do things that will benefit us. Be that encourager; help some along both with a soft word, a helping hand or a firm word to redirect. Ask yourself, how would Christ do it?

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How Can Psalms 90 Impact Our Decision Making?

Here is a devotional based on Psalms 90. The author, Joe Stowell, is a writer for the Daily Bread. Please read and share some comments. Is this a realistic perspective for you right now?

Overcommitters Anonymous

By Joe Stowell

“Teach us to number our days . . . that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12

I am hopelessly prone to overcommitting myself. Is anyone else out there a little too quick to say “Yes” to every request? Let’s start our own little group—Overcommitters Anonymous. We can have weekly OCA meetings. We’ll become experts at saying “No.” Wanna join?

As I get a little older I realize, like Moses did in Psalm 90, that my time on this earth is limited. It is quickly passing. And that means that, more than ever, I want to be strategic and purposeful about where and how I am spending my time. It’s not because I feel like I’m better than others, or that some tasks and opportunities are beneath me. It’s just that I have this long list of goals I’d love to accomplish, people I want to invest in, and dreams I want to see realized—and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time.

Moses was gut-level honest about this reality. He says, “The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength” (Psalm 90:10). This from a guy who didn’t even lead God’s people out of Egypt until he was in his eighties! Moses goes on to say of our years: “yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”

I suppose old Moses may have just been having a bad day when he wrote this, but I suspect, more accurately, that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Moses had one of those wake-up-to-your-own-mortality kind of moments where he became aware, in a fresh way, that he wasn’t going to be around forever. And so his heart’s cry was very simple: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (v.12). In other words, “Lord, I need you to clearly show me how to use the time that I have left.”

Which brings me back to my overcommitment problem.

I’ve found that often I am afraid to say “No” to people because I have a fear of offending them. I like being liked. I like being available. I like being helpful, and so I cringe at the idea of disappointing someone who has asked for my help. Another committee to serve on. Another project to lead. Another trip. Another . . . well, you get the idea.

For me, the antidote to my fear of offending people is cultivating a deeper fear—the fear of neglecting some of the core ministries and responsibilities that God has entrusted to me. Like, for example, my family. I want to be sure that my outside commitments don’t pull me away from my responsibilities as a husband, a son, a father, and a grandfather. If I have a healthy fear of neglecting my family, it will eclipse the lesser fear of potentially offending someone who has asked for a chunk of my time that would overcommit me.

After 18 years at The Moody Bible Institute, I’m now on staff at a church again, and I want to be sure that I am maximizing my effectiveness to the church that God has called me to. So, my Sundays are not free for “pulpit supply” the way they used to be, and more of my speaking time and energy is reserved for my church. If I overcommit myself, I risk neglecting that vital ministry.

So, maybe we don’t need a meeting of  “Overcommitters Anonymous” after all. We simply need to personalize the perspective and prayer of Moses as we consider every opportunity in terms of the priorities of our fleeting lives. Besides, I really shouldn’t commit to another meeting!

YOUR JOURNEY…

* Do you have a tendency to overcommit yourself? What fears prevent you from saying “No” to certain people or opportunities?
* What are some of your core responsibilities and commitments? How are those affected by overcommitment on your part?
* Take a few minutes to read through and then personalize Psalm 90. Spend some extra time praying the prayer of Moses, “Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I might gain a heart of wisdom.”

The Right People

I firmly believe that the principles basis of all Team Building practices are based on those principles found in scripture. Most devotionals like the one featured in this post will use a real life story and apply those sound principles.

In the devotional I read to day I was reminded that regardless how many books I read to prepare for a workshop or keynote on Team Building that I should always start first with my bible.

Take a few minutes to read this powerful devotional and illustration, especially appreciated by sport fans, on Team Building that leads to Team Work.

The Right People.

Keep The Faith

This is a devotional written by Elizabeth Aryee (Mrs.) on the subject of Faith.

FAITH:

The bible defines FAITH in Heb. 11:1 as being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.

Faith is the believe that God is real and that God is good.  It is a choice to believe that the one who made it all hasn’t left it all and that He still sends light into the shadows and responds to gestures of faith.

Faith is the believe that God will do what is right even though we do not see Him, yet we trust Him for that.

In the book “A woman’s journey with God: Joni Eareckson Tada wrote “faith means believing in realities that go beyond  sense and sight ….. being aware of unseen divine realities all around you.”

(RUTH 1:16)

But Ruth said, “don’t beg me to leave you or to stop following you.  Where you go, I will go.  Where you live, I will live.  Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.

Ruth had no idea what the future held, but she had FAITH in the God of Israel.  After the loss of her husband, father-in-law, Ruth was so convinced that the God of Israel was the true God that she told her mother-in-law that “where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God”.

Perhaps it was her mother-in-law Naomi, who influence her to put her faith in God, or God may have visited her in her need, convincing her of His goodness and power.  Whatever her source of motivation , it is clear that Ruth made the correct decision.  She placed her faith in God the Creator.  As Christians, we should do no less.

Abraham also demonstrated that faith in Romans 4:2 & 3; It says “If Abraham was made right by the things he did, he had a reason to brag.  But this is not God’s view, because Scripture says Abraham believed God, and God accepted his faith, and that faith made him right with God.”

Our faith will not be whole unless we are made right with God or unless we are circumcised.  Circumcision here means cleanse from unrighteousness.

The Bible exhorts us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.  Heb. 12:2.  The journey of life is a journey of faith when we look up to Jesus as our savior and guide.  He makes that journey with us, and he makes that journey worthwhile.  Let us then, build our lives on the firm foundation: faith in the Son and faith in the Father.

2 Chronicles 20:20 said “ …. have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld.

2 Cor. 5:7 said “we live by faith, not by sight.”

Corrie Ten Boom wrote “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that He can see.”

Let us all join Timothy to say in 2 Timothy 4:7 & 8 that “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, not only to me but to all those who have waited with love for him to come again.”