Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gentle Whispers...

If you have ever spent any length of time with me, you know how much I love Henri Nouwen. He's flat out amazing. I love his depth and message tone. I think his equivalent would be David Pounds in my community. Anyways...if you have ever attended Pine Springs with me, you know how much solitude time means to me. My quiet time at Pine Springs is where I believe much of my own spiritual formation has taken place...the gentle whispers of God on the side of those mountains.

Nouwen says, "Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life. Solitude begins with a time and a place for God, and him alone. If we really believe not only that God exists but also that he is actively present in our lives - healing, teaching, and guiding - we need to set aside a time and a space to give him our undivided attention. Jesus says, 'Go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to the Father who is in that secret place' (Matt.6:6)."

It's funny how we can know something (like solitude time) is great for us and not truly buy into it. I find that amazingly stupid about myself. I know I should work out, but I have rationalized this...when Harper is sleeping through the night and the NCAA Tournament is over, I'll have time and energy for that. We will see. Even in my brokenness, deep down in my soul, I know I need regular and lengthy time with God in quiet so that he can whisper to me the truths this world can never teach me.

So I find myself here...God desires to speak his love, discipline, and wisdom into my life, and I choose to watch SportsCenter for the third time today. May you and I find the guts through God's transforming power to block out all things in search of God's daily, gentle whispers.

Anyone can comment.


  1. Right there with ya man. Sage words from such a "young" man! LOL

  2. Hey Josh, I love the new blog! I have never read any of Henry Nouwen's writings, but he and you both bring up excellent points. Solitude is so important! To sit down with God and just meditate on his word is a very difficult thing to do, I struggle with it everyday. Great blog buddy, keep it up!

  3. Josh,
    1st I would like to say that sometimes I don't get the real indepth meaning of the sportscenter sports cast until I have watched it about that 3rd or fourth time.
    And if you continue to procreate and work as a youth minister you will find that the majority of your solitude time is accompanied by the cool feel of porcelin against your bare hindquarters.
    Solitude in communion with God is an awesome and revitalizing thing. I get a little bit of it every week when I am out on the road. I also feel as though it is some of my best spiritual time with God.
    In that line of thinking let me throw something else at you guys and see what you think. I have been doing some studying in the Sermon on the mount where the scripture quoted above about Christ instruction on prayer appears. My focus has been on spirituality and how we worship in spirit. The thing that I think I see in these scriptures is a directive to do things for the glory of God that bring you no worldly reward and/or that no one sees except for God who is unseen. Now think about that. How many things do you do for God that no one else knows about? and I mean no one. It is not an easy thing to do but I am begining to believe it is an essential part of how we worship God in Spirit. In the past I have looked at these instructions and thought that the issue was motive which of course is extremely important in all that you do. But as I look closer I believe that God wants us to set aside things that are strictly for his Glory. To store up treasures in heaven. In order to do that they have to be, actions, thoughts, prayers, restraints, and physical sacrifices that are only for the Glory of God and they can only be to the Glory of God if they are unknown to man.

  4. In Response to Rob's thought...

    I completely agree with you about the service to our God in complete secret, and I also believe you are right about that being a lesson in the Sermon on the Mount. Too much, if not all, of our keeping in step with God's Spirit comes in front of people. Too often we only publicly acknowledge and worship God in Spirit. I think that is a major reason why we are not more transformed by the Spirit because we only serve or worship or whatever you want to call it in front of others. To add something else to our service or following the Spirit...does it bother you that we give our money to God through checks so that later on we can get it as a tax deduction? I don't have an answer for that one, but I have been contemplating it for a while.

    Great thoughts!

    Josh Haynes

  5. Foster in Celebration of Discipline says the two chief tools of our Enemy are noise and busy-ness. Those devil-tools keep us from observing the meditation, from whispering the quiet prayer, from listening for the words God is speaking to our hearts. We must fight, really fight, genuinely battle, to keep from being overcome by those two demons.

  6. Ok, this is a much needed topic that we are threading...........
    Spiritual Gowth 101
    1. You must have quiet time with God. It has to be a priority and if you think it is hard to find that time its because the Devil does not want you to have it so you have to fight for it.
    2. You must do things only for the Glory of God that are unseen and unknown by Man. A good start is your giving. As Jesus instructed "Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing". You must take the extra ordinary steps to not allow anyone know what you are giving to God so you will recieve your reward from God and not Man.
    ........What's the next one?

  7. I am also a huge fan of solitude. I am convinced that it is only in times of solitude that I can "hear" what God is "speaking" to me. For me it is important to be in a place where there is no fear of interuption. The prayer room at Broadway is an ideal place. I have found that it takes about an hour for me to "wind down" enough to begin the conversation. I will sometimes read scripture or pray psalms back to God. I do this out loud. There is something very powerful that happens in your conversation with God when it is spoken out loud. I talk to God audibly, then I enter a time of silence. I pay close attention to words or thoughts that appear in my mind...gentle nudges, sentence fragments, random thoughts...all of these things need to be processed to see if they are from God. It is not uncommon for me, when I get quiet before God, to drift in and out of sleep. When I'm exceptionally tired or beat down by worries or pressures of the world, I think God gives me rest in the midst of my prayer...I have found that in my slumbering, semi conscious state God speaks the loudest. I sometimes hear him in these times the clearest. The challenge for me is to find these times ...Ihave extra keys to the prayer room if anyone wants one...I would encourage you to go there with the intent of staying a minimum of 2 hours! It will take time to let the world fade away...don't take your phone or watch!
    Just a few of my random thoughts...