Tag: listen

Dale’s Rules for Life – Questions Can Open Locked Doors

Dale’s Rules for Life – Questions Can Open Locked Doors

Encouragment
I have these rules for life, twenty-eight of them in all. The list is not weighted. The first rule is not more important than the second, in fact, the order doesn’t really matter. Here’s the eighth rule – Asking questions can open locked doors. I obviously don’t mean literal doors but metaphorical ones. It would be kind of silly to stand outside a locked door and ask about its day. And it’s not really a rule, more like a proverb or pithy saying. But questions can unlock doors. Everything we know about the world and the cosmos begins with a question. Why? How? That inquisitiveness drives all knowledge and frustrates us when we don’t know the answer. This is the black and white realm of toddlers and empirical scientists as they seek to discover how the world works. Without questions, ther
Dale’s Rules for Life – Listen More than You Speak

Dale’s Rules for Life – Listen More than You Speak

Encouragment
I have these rules for life. So far, we’ve covered six of them in this monthly Lambchow feature. Number seven goes like this – Listen more than you talk. In some ways, I think I’m wired to follow this rule and it is has served me well in every area of life. Some may count me as shy, especially those that knew me in High School and young adulthood. And there was some fear-based shyness there. But during that time, I also discovered that a lot can be learned by simply listening. A few years ago, Betty and I joined a small group at our new church. They were unknown to us and we to them. I determined to apply this rule of listening more than I spoke. I think they thought I was shy too but my desire was to get to know each one’s wants, worries, and wounds by watching and listening. Today I c
Selective Hearing

Selective Hearing

Encouragment
Husbands are often accused of selective hearing. As in, only hearing those things that they want to hear. “Dinner’s ready,” is heard while “can you take out the trash?” falls on deaf ears. I’ve fallen victim to it myself. The truth is that some things get through our “attention” filter easier than others. But to be honest that excuse can also be a lie. It’s not just a husband or a kid thing, everyone falls victim to selective hearing. To combat this problem, I’m trying to develop listening habits. When Betty talks, even if it seems like a mundane report of some kind, I try to pause whatever I’m doing and give her my attention. By doing things like putting down the smartphone, pausing the TV show or game, closing the laptop, and shifting into a listening mode I make it easier for her
Practically James – Practically Speaking

Practically James – Practically Speaking

Encouragment
Ever say something and immediately wish you could retract it?  I can think of several times. In fact, the longer I think about it the more examples come to mind and the more I’m embarrassed. The insensitive comment. That joke which inadvertently offended. The rash promise. The harsh line that didn’t need to be said. The times of silence when words could bring healing comfort. We’ve all been there which makes our next lesson from the Letter of James all the more real and relevant. By way of reminder, we’re using James’ introduction as our outline. “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully d
Got Your Ears On?

Got Your Ears On?

Encouragment
“Breaker, breaker two one, got your ears on Blue Darter?” Some of you know what that phrase is all about, to others it is a mystery. Grandpa Kindred was a CB’er (a Citizen Band Radio Enthusiast) long before it became a fad in the 70’s. From his basement he’d listen and talk to the static laced voices of folks from around the county and truckers on the nearby highway. It was a whole other world with strange codes, unique words, and “handles” for names. For the uninitiated, that strange phrase we started with could be interpreted as, “Excuse me Channel 21, Grandpa Kindred (AKA Blue Darter) are you there? Can you hear me?”  God, in a way, once had a similar conversation. We are told in 1st Samuel 3 that “Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. And word from the Lord was
Listen Up!

Listen Up!

Encouragment
I hate talking points. It seems that in every area of debate each side has their points, their pat arguments that must be aired at all cost. We see this in politics as each side of the political spectrum uses pre-determined phrases over and over again. I’m not talking slogans here but responses to probing questions. We see this in racial and social justice issues as sides build grievances into an impenetrable siege wall. We even see it in Christian circles when lines are drawn over an issue, doctrine, or method. This is invariably worse because the weapon (the talking points) used is God’s Word. So here’s some sanity from the Book of Proverbs. “Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2, NLT) I think that the key word is “only.” It
Christmas: Declaration

Christmas: Declaration

Christmas, Encouragment
The days have grown shorter. The air has turned a bit colder. The brilliant colors of fall have faded to the barrenness of winter. The year is nearly over. It’s somehow fitting that we encounter Christmas as one year fades and another one begins. In the bleakness of winter we are reminded of God’s promises and rekindle hope for the pages yet to be written. For the next five Thursdays Lambchow will be looking at Christmas in a slightly different way. Each week will focus the events of the Christmas story through five different lenses, five different words. Those words are declaration, incarnation, adoration, jubilation, and affirmation. Declaration The Christmas story unfolds in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. In their retelling, we encounter three distinct times where God sent an angeli
Turn Aside for a Moment

Turn Aside for a Moment

Encouragment
Have you ever pulled off the highway to visit a roadside attraction? Perhaps your destination was the Rockies, or the Grand Canyon, or the Ocean, or just to visit some family and friends. But these signs kept popping up - Visit Wall Drug. See Rock City. Lambert's - Home of Throwed Rolls. Or harkening back to the Route 66 days - Gemini Giant, Blue Whale, and Cadillac Ranch. At some point the question was asked, “well, what do you think, should we pull in?”  A decision was made. Perhaps the attraction was nothing more than a tourist trap, the point is that it got our attention and we made a choice to see what it was all about. One day, Moses was minding his own business, well really his father-in-law’s business, notices a kind of roadside attraction. Most of us are familiar with the stor
Trail Mix Prayer: Your Will Be Done

Trail Mix Prayer: Your Will Be Done

Archive
Somewhere in a dusty filing cabinet is a document, prepared by a lawyer and signed by me and Betty, declaring our desires in the event of our deaths. It is a simple document setting out our will for the worldly goods left behind and who will see those desires through. In formal terms it is our “Last Will and Testament”  And how will those desires come to light?  Someone will ask to see the will. Our third “what” to pray as we go about our day, our trail mix prayers, is all about asking and listening. Jesus connects “your kingdom come” (which we covered in our last article) with “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:10  Much of what we examined about praying for God’s kingdom also applies to praying for God’s will. So instead of rehashing the same ideas lets lo