Are You A Good Listener?

Are you a good listener or do you jump to conclusions,
fill in the pauses, and hijack conversations? 

A man in the back row of the church comes forward for prayer.
The pastor asks him what he wants.
“I need prayer about my hearing,” says the man.
The pastor prays passionately over the fella, then asks loudly,
“How’s your hearing now?”
The man replies, “My hearing isn’t till next Thursday!”

 

It’s funny until it’s YOU feeling misunderstood and unheard.

Does it ever feel like you are in a sound proof room
and your prayers are not getting through to God?
Have there been times when God is silent and you question his listening skills?
If he is listening like the Bible says, why aren’t your prayers being answered?

A better question might be are you listening?

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Why You Need To Pray Persistently

 You can learn how to pray persistently from children.

If you have kids,
or have spent any time with kids
you know they ask for stuff and they ask a lot!
Their persistence yields many yeses.

 I’ve got two kids but one was much more persistent than the other.

He’d ask.”Can I have it?”
(whatever “it” was he couldn’t live without)
“No,” I’d tell him.

He’d wait about a minute and ask,
“Can I have it now?”
“No!” I’d answer.

He’d wait about ten minutes and ask again,
“How ’bout now? Can I have it now?”

He’d keep this up for days or even weeks
if it was something he really wanted.

Honestly, he got a lot more stuff than his brother did,
because he was so pleasantly persistent.

Today, that kid is a mighty pray-er.
He goes after prayers like he used to go after
a new toy
or driver’s license
or raise in his allowance.

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It’s True, God Loves You!

We all long to know
we are worthy of belonging.
To have connection.
To be accepted for who we are.
To be loved.


When my boys were in high school,
one played guitar on the worship team.
The other took up acting.

Every time one of them was on a platform,
you can bet I was front and center.
I had my eyes locked on him until
he did something clever or
performed some especially challenging feat,
at which point,
I would turn to the person on my left,
elbow them to get their attention,
point at the stage and exclaim,
See that one in the blue shirt?
That one’s mine.
Isn’t he wonderful?
Then, I’d turn to the person behind me
and say,
Did you see that?
Did you notice how brilliant that boy is?
He’s mine.
He belongs to me.”

Girlfriend,
it didn’t matter what they were doing.
On the stage or loafing on the sofa,
showing off or crashing the car,
my eyes are always on my boys,
loving them.

They weren’t perfect.
They aren’t perfect.
Sometimes, they weren’t even very good.

Their performance never affected
the way I love my children.

I love them because they belong to me.
They are part of me.

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Do You Believe God Has Good Gifts Waiting For You?

Do you believe God has good gifts waiting for you?

 

From the time my children were born,
I planned to give them lots of great stuff. 
I intended to shower them with opportunities that would delight them. 
I was determined to give them things that would make
their life easier or better or richer or set them up for success.

It was always my intention that they would
swim in an ocean,
ride a bike,
drive a car,
have a girlfriend.
I always had plans to
send them college,
mow the lawn with the big tractor,
use the chainsaw and
manage money.

However, I couldn’t dump every good thing
I had in my storehouse on them at once!
I didn’t want them to become
overwhelmed
or spoiled
or entitled.

I didn’t want to set my boys up to fail or get hurt.
Did you notice that most of the good gifts I had for them
required some training to appreciate and
some maturity to manage?

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