Friday, January 29, 2010

Are You Listening?

Job 13: 5 “If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom” (NIV)

Do you listen with your answers running? It often seems like others don’t listen when I talk, or wait, maybe it is I who does not listen when others talk. There is value in true listening. You can discover what a person is really saying when you truly listen. Just because someone says that they are fine when asked how you are, does not mean they are fine. But ,if you do not listen, you will not know the truth.

We are not called to have the answer for every situation and problem. We are called to listen, and through true listening to hear the words of the heart.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Turning Down the Noise

Job 33:33b “Listen to me; be silent, and I will speak.”

While driving in bad weather or in heavy traffic in unfamiliar cities, my first inclination is to turn down the radio. That act does not help me to see better, but it does allow my senses to focus more acutely on what is happening around me. I pay better attention when the noise is lowered. According to Steven Yentis, a professor at John Hopkins University, an individual’s attention is strictly limited; when attention is given to one modality (listening), it extracts a cost from another modality (vision).

How many times in our spiritual lives do we need to turn down the radio? We allow the noise of the world to invade our spiritual life and become so distracted that we become lost. We take wrong turns; we flounder for direction. What we need to do is to turn down the noise of the world by delving into God’s word on a daily basis, keep our focus on Christ, and then our vision will be following the right direction.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


We invite defeat when we remember what we should forget. God's word tells us "Forget about what's happened; Don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present." Isaiah 43:18-19a (MSG) Once we have confessed our sin, God through the blood of Jesus washed that sin away.

Praise changes the view, so when remembering give God the praise and thanks for the grace He has shown.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are You Trading Your Birthright for a Bowl of Stew

“so he [Esau] swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.” Genesis 25:33b

Esau had been out hunting all day and was hungry, probably feeling tired and not in the mood to cook. Jacob had hung around the tent all day, had a stew simmering in the pot. Esau walked by and the smell enticed him. He wanted that stew; it would appease his immediate desire of hunger. Jacob, Esau's younger twin, coveted what was Esau's- his birthright and was looking for an opportunity to obtain what was not his. Esau wanted the stew, the immediate desire; Jacob coveted something of a greater value. Jacob understood the value of the birthright- a greater percentage of the family wealth and the blessing of the Father. So, seeing Esau's hunger, Jacob would not just give Esau the stew, but bartered for it. Esau did not value the birthright, for he was only concerned with the immediate, and so gave Jacob the birthright in exchange for a bowl of stew.

I shake my head at Esau, but then question, how many times have I sold my birthright so my immediate desires were met? How many times have I purchased an item that was not needed when I could have given that money for missions? How many times have I sat around home playing games on the computer when that time could have been spent with family or helping neighbors? Am I as callous about my birthright as Esau? Are you?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Kudos to KFC

I am a hard person to market to. I tivo shows so I do not have to watch ads; I do not listen much to the radio, so I do not have to hear ads; I rarely read newspapers and read very few magazines. However, I think KFC has hit on a way to reach people like me. According to USA Today “Fast-food chain KFC is giving two Indiana cities $7,500 so it can emblazon founder Colonel Sanders' face on their hydrants and fire extinguishers to promote new "fiery" chicken wings.” This is a great marketing idea as well as a way to help financially strapped communities. This unique way of advertising grabs the attention of people, just what the marketers want. Now, if KFC would just deliver!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Without a Word

Read an interesting article in the paper today- no seems to know what to call the first ten years of 2000. Of all the words in the languages today, no one has quite come up with a word for those years.

Isn’t that often like feelings? Many times what I am feeling, I lack the words to adequately describe it. Perhaps I just do not yet know the words. I am so glad that I do not need words for my heavenly Father to know what I need, for He understands my groans, my cries.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will.” Romans 8:26-27

Digging further: Psalm 102: 19-20; Psalm 38:8-9; Psalm 40:1