Friday, August 9, 2013

Don't Lose Your Voice

I'm sick. For 6 days now I have been fighting off this incessant bug; woozy pounding head, aching muscles, sleeping more than my cat, and a throat that feels like I've just guzzled half a bottle of Draino. All of this has been rather horrid, but for the most part tolerable if I gritted my teeth and rode it out. Until last night. Last night, the unthinkable happened. 

I lost my voice. Yep, completely 100% gone. And for me, there is nothing tolerable about losing one's voice. Sure, it's funny when I try to laugh at my boys' jokes and sound just like Marge Simpson, or possibly her zany sisters Thelma and Selma; but that's where the fun ends. Putting it bluntly, I need my voice to function! I cannot communicate without it! Everything becomes hard; the morning schedule - gone! Telephone calls - impossible! Socializing with my school mum friends - well, okay, so I managed to squeak out a few words here and there with them, but not as many as usual. 

Long story short, when one loses their voice, communication of all kinds is next to impossible. 

And I believe that the Church is losing its voice. Christians are losing their voices. I have been a Christian for 30 years; I always loved sharing this fact, from when I was a little girl in primary school, right through my working years, into this season as a mum of primary aged kids. It's never crossed my mind to not share this with others; why wouldn't I want to speak the truth of Jesus Christ to others?

Why not indeed? How it saddens my heart to read of so many Christians watering down their faith so as not to offend anyone, to be "inclusive" and "tolerant" and "unoffensive." There is so much pressure on churches and individual Christians  to stay mute about so many different issues, that ultimately the message - the Gospel of Jesus Christ - is withheld. Is it because we are afraid of being labelled bigots, or worse - fundamentalists? Or is it that our freedom of speech is becoming less 'free' and more "tow the line or stay silent?" 

Our voice - as individuals and as a collective - and our message are clear. In Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, Simon Peter declares this message boldly and confidently -  “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6: 68-69).

As Christians in the 21st Century we will face much scorn and ridicule for our faith. In some instances we may even become "Public Enemy #1." The question is, as we used to say, "can you hack it?!" Will you make a courageous stand for your God, in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of his Holy Spirit? 

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"

"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."  (Luke 19:37-40 NIV).

Or will you be out-praised by a rock?!



Helen XO








15 comments:

  1. Hi Helen - What a great post and a timely challenge. Especially with the election coming up and people chatting about different issues, I sometimes find it difficult to tell people where I stand on certain topics. They might be offended if I support something that's not politically correct. Thanks for the reminder that we need to stand on the word of God and not be afraid to share him with others. And for someone who's lost their voice, I think you spoke pretty powerfully. Blessings. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nola. I must confess, I am not always as vocal as I could (should?) be, and I need to work on this all the time.

      It's great to be able to discuss issues with others, so long as we do just as you said, stand on the Word of God and honour him first.

      Blessings, Helen.

      Delete
  2. Hi Helen - I agree with Nola, it's a very timely date for such a post. Current 'politically correct' movements are making it so easy for Christians to lose our voices. And I hope you get your physical vocal chords back to work soon and throw off the winter lurgies.
    Blessings,
    Paula

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement Paula. It is certainly a difficult time to be a Christian; not that it's really been easy I suppose, but I think that until recently, there was at least a respect for our beliefs by those who didn't necessarily share them. Now we have become the "untolerated" in society; makes me wonder what is happening in the spiritual realms . . .

      Oh, and yes, I have some voice back! Still can't rock out to my favourite songs, but enough to bark out orders to my kids! Just kidding :-P

      Blessings, Helen.

      Delete
  3. I'm not sure how many people will read down the comments, but I just wanted to make an "end note" of sorts to this post.

    As strongly as I have written this blog, I also recognise that some times there is a need for silence, a holding of the tongue until an "appointed time" when perhaps the message might be received more readily.

    This is as much about prayer as it is about being bold and courageous in Christ. Let's not stir the pot just for the sake of stirring it; rather, let us consider our words and work on our "take" on the issues of the day, solidify what we do actually believe is the message Christ wants us to share. I have learnt the hard way that jumping up and down making a scene in righteous indignation is not always the best course of action; some situations call for more prayer and less Simon-like zeal!

    Blessings,

    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Helen for a great post. I am so sorry that you lost your speaking voice but am glad it was temporary. I do like your end note too. When I was a new Christian - I spoke loud and long to everyone in my path and no doubt turned off many people! :) Now I don't speak as loudly or as long - partly because I have found that sometimes God has also called me to silence and to prayer as you point out so well. I've realised that I need to be led by the Spirit as I speak out for Him. It's a challenge isn't it?

    Thanks for speaking up about the need to speak up.
    It was a needed reminder.
    Keep well Helen and keep writing.
    Anusha :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anusha, thank you for your encouragement. Oh, I have been very vocal over the years! I once even chased a man off the bus to give him a page of my Bible that I'd torn out; I really believed that he needed to read it! These days, I don't think I would do such extroverted witnessing, but pray that my life would be a statement of my faith; that no matter what, I will always praise my God and declare that He alone is God.

      Blessings, Helen

      Delete
  5. When I read your heading, Helen, I assumed it might be about our writing "voice". I agree with you whole-heartedly. It's just too easy to remain silent when it is a time for being faithful to the lord. It's so sad to realize the way our leaders' have surrendered to those who protest the loudest. One example: It's becoming politically correct to condone and even applaud homosexual marriage. Those of us who disagree are lumped with the dinosaur tag. All sin is equal in God's eyes, but it's tragic to see laws and rules of conduct changing maybe because we neglect to make a stand for Christian values.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rita,

      Oh how I agree with you wholeheartedly. As I wrote this blog piece my heart was aching; so many times I read or hear of another church or Christian that has allowed the world's "logic" to interfere with God's Word. These are very hard times that we live in; no doubt they will only get harder as right and wrong become 'taboo' and those that stand their ground are persecuted for their beliefs. May God give us courage, and wisdom, and above all grace and love for all men and women, that our voice would always point to God's grace, not to legalism.

      Blessings, Helen

      Delete
  6. Hi Helen, sorry I am late. Really enjoyed your writing style, and the topic was spot-on. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Margaret,

      Thank you so much for your encouragement. Given that I didn't realise I was due to write anything, it really was a "God inspired" piece!

      Blessings, Helen

      Delete
  7. Love your posts Helen

    Years ago there was a Christian singer called Carmen, he sang about Christians having 'a little more conviction'. And Josh McDowell asks the question "is there enough evidence in your life to convict you as a Christian"....challenging as your post.

    And clearly we do need to listen to the still small voice of God's Holy Spirit of when to speak and when not to....like everyone has already said.....
    May we all have a little bit more conviction to stand up for Jesus!
    X Di

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Di, (ooh, I just giggled when I wrote that! I'm so childish some times!).

      Thanks so much for your comments. I remember Carmen very well; I was blessed to see him perform way back in 1991 or 92; amazing performer! And I pray that there is enough evidence to convict me; some days more than others :-)

      Do you ever find that the times you want to say something are often the times God's instruction is to remain silent, and vice versa?! Sometimes I'm bursting to say something, but I just know that it's too early for whatever reason, and I need to sow into the person, or the vision, or whatever it might be. Other times I beg God to give me a day or two, but the moment is there and must be seized! I love it when he mixes it up a little! :-)

      Blessings, Helen

      Delete
  8. Sorry to hear you were sick Helen. It seems to be the season for it. But great challenging post. Good on you. May we all speak up for what we believe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dale, Thank you for your comments. Thankfully I am all better now and chatting away like a mad magpie :-) I'm glad that you found this post challenging; may your faith be strengthened and your voice be strengthened in all your conversations. May your words find favour with those who hear them, and may the Lord be glorified by every word you speak!

      Dale, I want to share with you something now, if I may? On commenting on your post here, I believe I received a little vision for you! I saw rocks, boulders that were hard and smooth, with seed bouncing off of them. The instruction was very clear; "Keep on sowing the seed in the rough and hard places; don't stop, just keep on going."

      I pray that this word encourages you, Dale.

      Blessings, Helen

      Delete