Silence is hard. It's an art form, a discipline, a science of sorts. Most importantly, silence is needed.
What's odd, however, is how our culture caters to noise. It's all around us. Cell phones. Music. Movies. Podcasts. And that is just audible noise. There is noise all around us that we can't even hear, yet it crowds our minds and causes our hearts to feel like a neglected junk drawer. Noise like social media, the internet, magazines, and advertisements. While none of this "noise" is terrible in and of itself, it does cause what I call soul clutter.
Soul clutter is the absorption of noise to the neglect of silence. When we take in so much noise at the neglect of silence, our souls begin to feel like a messy desk—unorganized and scattered. I'm no stranger to this illustration. I find that when my desk is clear and in order, I'm able to concentrate on the tasks in front of me with higher intensity and focus. However, when my desk is messy, I have a hard time thinking, working and even concentrating. The same is true for our souls. When our souls fill up with noise and distraction, we feel hurried, anxious, and frantic. In other words, we experience soul clutter.
How are we to clean out the junk drawer of our hearts? How can we organize our messy souls? Through silence.
Silence slays soul clutter as nothing else can. Silence is a meeting between you and your own heart before God. As we embrace this meeting, God works wondrously to clear away the noise from our bombarded souls and instead fills our souls with His joy and peace as we gaze into His glory. Adele Calhoun sees the need for this silence before God when she writes,
"We need to realize that the world can go on without us for an hour or a day or even longer. We don't need to respond to every word and request that comes our way. The discipline of silence invites us to leave behind the competing demands of our outer world for time alone with Jesus. Silence offers a way of paying attention to the Spirit of God and what he brings to the surface of our souls."
Therefore, I am planning to take the whole month of December and purposefully shut down the noise of social media. While I love social media and don't feel dominated by it, I have a renewed desire to embrace the gift of silence to declutter my soul. I plan on continuing to write on this site which will automatically post new blog posts on all my social media outlets (so don't worry, I won't be cheating!). I will also still be sending out an email every week with my most recent posts.
Silence is a gift God gives us to see our hearts before Him—will you accept it?
There are currently approximately 7,584,202,520 people in the world right now. While I'm not entirely sure if those numbers are accurate while you are reading this, I am sure of one thing.
There is only one Chas Singer.
Sure, there might be another person in this world of 7.5 billion people named Chas Singer, but there is no one like Chas Singer. This audacious statement begs the question...
What makes Chas Singer so unique?
Perhaps it's because he is a Beatles-loving, guitar-playing, take-it-easy hippy living in the year 2017. Maybe it's because of his love for various kinds of music—no exaggeration. The man loves the Beatles and Austin Stone Worship. Perhaps it's because of his outrageous, always-on, hilarious, gut-wrenching humor. Or maybe it's because of his stupendous story-telling ability (no one tells a story better than Chas Singer).
While all of these things (and many more!) are aspects of the man I know as Chas Singer, there is one thing that sets him apart from all the rest: Chas overflows with joy.
Like a water faucet turned on full blast, Chas pours forth joy wherever he goes. Joy exudes from him as He enjoys God through the simplest of things: A walk on a crisp fall day. The drink of a Pepsi (with grenadine, of course). Watching a Pacers game with friends. Listening to music. Playing with his grandkids. Talking on the phone to an old friend. Watching the stars on a calm Summer night. Chas enjoys life more than most people I know.
His joy is so evident that it is contagious. From his recognizable laughter to his embracing smile—you always leave Chas wanting to be more like him. His joyous passion in worship inspires others to sing and lift Jesus high. His love for the Bible that exalted a joy-giving, joy-filled God is evident whenever he preaches or teaches—he is a real Christian hedonist. His love for people is apparent through his joyful care for others. Whenever you need a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, a word of wisdom, or just someone to be there, you can always count on Chas being there—with joy.
How does Chas live a life of such overflowing joy? Because he trusts in a God who takes sin and gives righteousness. He placed his faith in a God who sent His Son to die in our place so that we can have eternal fellowship with our Creator. Chas is filled with joy because He is filled with hope.
Hope in a Christ that forgives.
Hope in a God whose love never fails.
Hope in a life beyond the grave.
What makes this man so unique? Chas Singer overflows with joy because he knows the Joy of all joys--Jesus.
I recently received an ad from Christian Book Distributors with a list of books that will be on sale for Cyber Monday. I found five books in particular that I would recommend anyone getting (especially with 50+% off). Give them a look:
For the Fame of God's Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper (Sam Storms, Justin Taylor)
Regular Price: $35.99
Sale Price: $1.99
The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament (John Walton, Victor Matthews, Mark Chavalas)
Regular Price: $40.00
Sale Price: $18.99
Acting the Miracle: God's Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification (John Piper, David Mathis)
Regular Price: $16.99
Sale Price: $3.99
The Sermons of George Whitefield (George Whitefield)
Regular Price: $65.00
Sale Price: $27.99
God's Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey (Andreas Kostenberger, Margaret Kostenberger)
Regular Price: $22.99
Sale Price: $7.99
You are a liar.
You tell me that my identity is found in what I produce, not in who I am in Jesus. You tell me that I will be better-liked and respected more if I do more, faster. You tell me that I can’t stop doing because the to-do list never ends.
You are a deceiver.
You make me feel productive when all I have really done is made myself feel better by accomplishing things while neglecting to patiently love others. You make me believe that everything is urgent and everything hinges upon me. You make me believe that if I’m not constantly working on something then I am lazy and worthless.
You have robbed me.
You have taken away my joy in the “right now.” You have stolen time from me by telling me that there is more fulfillment in the next versus the now. You’ve taken away precious memories I could have had if I had not believed that the future is more valuable than the current moment.
I’m learning that the faster I go the less I become. I’m learning that slowness is often the road to fruitfulness. I’m learning that I don’t get to my future any faster if I rush. I’m learning that there is more joy in where I am now than where I will be. I’m learning that Jesus is speaking now. Softly calling me to abide in Him. Gently showing me my sin. Graciously showing me the cross. Gloriously pointing me towards my future glory. Patiently slowing me down to know Him, enjoy Him, and praise Him.
Hurry, I don’t regret telling you--I’m slowing down.
A Hurried Sinner Learning How To Slow Down
John Piper preached a message entitled, "Don't Waste Your Life" from Galatians 6:14 at the Passion One Day conference in May of 2000. The message was later put into a book with the same title. Here is an excerpt from the book on page 45:
Listen to the "heartbeat" of Piper's book, life, and ministry here: