Pause

Stop.

Dial down the volume in your life. Breathe deeply, close your eyes, and listen.

Can you hear it, the still small voice?

You are not alone. God is near. The great I AM is with you — now and always.

Revel in God’s nearness.

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Listen

Come close and listen, all you who honor God; I will tell you what God has done for me: My mouth cried out to him with praise on my tongue. If I had cherished evil in my heart, my Lord would not have listened. But God definitely listened. He heard the sound of my prayer.

Psalm 66:16-19

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Think

I am almost 60. That sounds dreadfully old, right? You know though, age comes with some advantages. You begin to see the world a little differently. For me, I am realizing I’m not the center of things. I guess I’m pretty dense to just get that now!

Moving my attention away from self has made me focus more on God — on what God has done for me. Being free of self (or as free as one can be) is liberating because it opens us to God and to others. The Psalmist is on the money here: “I will tell you what God has done for me: My mouth cried out to him with praise on my tongue ... God definitely listened. He heard the sound of my prayer.”

Don’t wait until you are 60. Think beyond yourself today. Recognize the bigness of a great God and what God has done for you. Offer a little praise and prayer. God is near.

Bill Ogletree

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Pray

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Lord, let me feel your presence today and let others see you in me. Amen.

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Go

I know who goes before me

I know who stands behind

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

from “Whom Shall I Fear” by Chris Tomlin, 2013

Bill Ogletree

Bill Ogletree is a professor at Western Carolina University where he chairs the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. His professional interests center on the communication needs and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. When not at work, Bill enjoys time with his wife and family, an assortment of pets, and a variety of stringed instruments.

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