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Contributed By:
John Sears
 
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SILENCE

There is a game my parents used to play when we were on road long road trips in the car. The rules of the game went something like this. "The first one to talk loses." We called it the silence game. Have you ever played the game? I would bet that just about every parent has made up a game similar to this. When traveling in a vehicle and arguing continues, or complaining erupts, or the eternal question, "How much further?” is asked for the 100th time, we want silence. So we play the silence game. Sometimes, silence is golden.

Sometimes, though, silence is not golden. If you have ever felt the awkward pause in the conversation, or if you have ever had an angry spouse or parent give you the silent treatment then you know what I’m talking about. (Whisper) Sometimes silence can be deafening.

 
Contributed By:
W Pat Cunningham
 
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A POSITIVE STILLNESS

"The greater mystery, surpassing all words, summons us to silence. It must, of course, be a silence with content, not just the absence of speech and action. We should expect the liturgy to give us a positive stillness that will restore us. Such stillness will not be just a pause, in which a thousand thoughts and desires assault us, but a time of recollection, giving us an inward peace, allowing us to draw breath and rediscover the one thing necessary, which we have forgotten."

[The Spirit of the Liturgy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), 209.]

 
Contributed By:
R. David Reynolds
 
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Since my high school years, the message of the Gospel Hymn “God Will Take Care of You” by Civilla D. Martin, have spoken to my heart, especially in times such as these. I would like to share the lyrics of the first stanza and the refrain with you this morning. You may also find the complete text at Number 130 in our 1989 edition of THE UNTED METHODIST HYMNAL:

Be not dismayed what e’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath his wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.

God will take care of you,
Through every day, o’er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

 
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A monk joined a monastery and took a vow of silence. After the first 10 years his superior called him in and asked, “Do you have anything to say?”

The monk replied, “Food bad.”

After another 10 years the monk again had opportunity to voice his thoughts.

He said, “Bed hard.”

Another 10 years went by and again he was called in before his superior. When asked if he had anything to say, ...

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Contributed By:
Derrick Tuper
 
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HEARING GOD

In his devotional book, "My Utmost For His Highest" Oswald Chambers writes, "Get into the habit of saying, 'Speak, Lord,' and life will become a romance. Every time circumstances press in on you say, 'Speak, Lord,' and make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline--it is meant to bring me to the point of saying, 'Speak, Lord.' Think back to a time when God spoke to you. Do you remember what he said? As we listen, our ears become more sensitive, and like Jesus, we will hear God all the time."

 
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"Perhaps it would be a good idea, fantastic as it sounds, to muffle every telephone, stop every motor and halt all activity for one hour some day just to give people a chance to ponder for a few minutes on what it is all about, why they are living and what they really want."

 
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"Its a lot better to be seen than heard. The sun is the most powerful thing I know of, and it doesnt make much noise."

 
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REMEMBERING A DEATH WARRANT

Benjamin Rush to John Adams, July 20, 1811.

Dear Old Friend,

The 4th of July has been celebrated in Philadelphia in the manner I expected. The military men, and particularly one of them, ran away with all the glory of the day.

Scarcely a word was said of the solicitude and labors and fears and sorrows and sleepless nights of the men who projected, proposed, defended, and subscribed the Declaration of Independence. Do you recollect your memorable speech upon the day on which the vote was taken? Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the house when we were called up, one after another to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe what was believed to be by many at that time to be our own death warrants?

The silence and the gloom of the morning were interrupted, I well recollect, only for a moment by Colonel Harrison of Virginia, who said to Mr. Gerry at the table: “I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing. From the size and weight of my body I shall die in...

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"Traditionally, noise is used to ridicule, embarrass, denigrate, and curse, while silence is used for worship, respect, anticipation, and love. Do we hate each other as much as our noise level suggests?"

 
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"All noise is waste. So cultivate quietness in your speech, in your thoughts, in your emotions. Speak habitually low. Wait attention and then your low words will be charged with dynamite."

 
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