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Be Present

I’m not a “conference groupie.” I haven’t attended a Christian one in over a dozen years. I have been to a few corporate conferences, which are pretty impressive the past few years, but last week I went to one called Catalyst West at a church my son attends in Orange County, California. Funny that while there I saw ten or twelve guys I know who were at the last one I was at twelve years ago. Most of them told me they’ve been to five or six per year, so that makes sixty to seventy conferences I’ve missed. Oh well.

My schedule didn’t permit me to stay long, but I was able to make a session led by Andy Stanley. My youngest son attends his church in Atlanta. He’s an awesome communicator and God’s hand is on him. His message was about living in the present. He drove home the point that we’re often so busy tweeting, updating our facebook and the other things that keep one busy, that we fail to engage in the present. He said a lot of other great things also.

His point was something my 2009 New Years resolution was about, to be present. I have to admit, that year was a game changer in relationships for me. I listened more, learned more, grew closer, and deeper in relationships than any time up until then. For me the Turkish Proverb, “If speaking is silver, then listening is gold” became true. I’m still working on that goal.

Being present means being fully engaged. You can’t be everywhere, doing everything, and get the most out of life if you miss being present. My friend Rob is a single dad. He told me that he came home one evening and his son was on the computer, texting on his iphone, had the television blaring and talking on the home phone at the same time. He said, “You’re supposed to be doing your homework” to which his son said, “I am,” and held up a book.

Being present is especially productive in our prayer life. “Be still and know that I am God” the scripture says, “Wait on the LORD” the psalmist reminds us. I’ve pondered the thought before that maybe God makes some of us wait on Him like we’ve made Him wait on us before. Being present in prayer is the starting place for a day that gets us in alignment. Try it soon.

4 Comments

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  1. Visit My Website

    April 25, 2012

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    Karan said:

    Great reminder today! As things, (spring sports, volunteering, teaching, drs visits, kids) have kept our Spring one we will definitely never forget, being present is something I have missed. Being still doesn’t happen much these days but I certainly need to “still” my heart wherever I am and be present. So often in our life your words apply right where we are! We are grateful for your leadership and being “present” when we are with you!

  2. Ed Hill said:

    Great blog, Bill. Like John Maxwell says, Wherever you are, there you are!
    Simple, but effective.

    Pastor Ed Hill



  3. Visit My Website

    July 31, 2012

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    Irene said:

    I really appreciate your program about how your marriage can survive an affair. Many couples, I know are going through this. God Bless You!



  4. Visit My Website

    December 30, 2012

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    Heather said:

    I watched your program for the first time today. Thank you for your sobering message about the second coming of Christ. I attend NP in Atlanta and this commentary about Catalyst, Andy Stanley, and being “present” is really an encouragement to me.



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Bill Purvis is the pastor of Cascade Hills Church, located in Columbus, Georgia - just 1.5 hrs. outside of Atlanta. If you’re ever in the area, we’d like to invite you to visit us!

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