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Is a pastor cheating when they start looking at other churches?
I’m a talker. I can stretch a one minute topic into an hour long subject. Call it a gift. What can I say? I enjoy a good long chat.
Sometimes I’m so good at talking, that I’m not so good at carrying on a conversation. I talk and talk and talk while some unlucky person listens and listens and listens. Pretty soon they hear me talking so much that they aren’t listening anymore. Oh they hear me, but they’re not listening.
That’s the thing with conversations. They require listening. If you’re not listening, you’re not communicating.
The other day I was having problems with my website so I called my host provider’s help line. Everything started out pretty well. The gentleman said, “Hi,” I said, “Hello.” He said, “How can I help you?” It all went downhill from there.
I tried to explain my problem but he kept cutting me off. He would interrupt me with trivial things. When he tried to say my problem back to me he had it all wrong. So I repeated my problem and he kept not listening. This went on for over 30 minutes. I wasn’t able to communicate the problem I was having because this guy wasn’t listening.
After 34 minutes (I remember looking at the timer on my phone) I started to lose it. At one point I remember raising my voice and asking him (that’s putting it nicely) to be quiet. When that didn’t work, I demanded to talk to someone else. The young man insisted on helping. So I started from square one and began to tell him my problem. For 15 more minutes this guy interrupted me and offered solutions for problems I didn’t have. I had to end the frustration. I told him I was sorry but I had to end the phone call. He was still talking when I hung up.
I believe this guy could have helped me if he was just quiet and listened.
I once had a friend tell me in college, “The good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.” He probably said that because I was talking too much. But it’s a good saying nonetheless.
How good are you at communicating? It depends on how good you are at listening.
God is a good listener. He hears every single prayer we send His way. We talk. He listens. But are you communicating with God? How often do you listen to what God is saying to you? Or do you not hear God talking to you because you’re too busy not listening? If you’re doing all the talking, there’s really no communication taking place.
Is God trying to tell you something? How will you know unless you listen?
Send God a prayer tonight. Then spend some time listening to what God is saying to you. You might be surprised.
By the way. The problem I was having? I was getting two Facebook and Twitter buttons for each new post because my html code was getting duplicated. (Or so I thought.) Turns out Weebly, the design tool I use, offers to add those buttons for you if you click this nifty little radio button they offer. Apparently, the button was clicked so I never needed to add the html code in the first place. Now, how long did that take for me to explain? Thanks for listening.
Two girls college teams are playing softball against each other; Central Washington and Western Oregon. They are competing for the conference championship. So what do you do when a player for the other team injures herself? That was the dilemma these two teams faced.
Sarah Tucholski of Western Oregon hit her first home run of her career. In her excitement, she missed touching first base so she turned to go back. But her leg didn’t. She tore her acl. She crawled back and hugged that first base. Covering the distance all the way to home didn’t seem a possibility. If a teammate substituted, the hit over the fence would count as a two run single. If her teammates helped her she would have been called out. Great news for the other team.
But the girls of Central Washington were interested in more than just winning. They were focused on playing with integrity. Mallory Holtman from Central asked the umpire if she and another teammate, Liz Wallace, could carry her. The umpire said yes. So three girls rounded the bases together; Sarah, who hit the home run, and two of her opponents, Mallory and Liz, who lifted Sarah in their arms. Together they walked the diamond, stopping at the right time so Sarah could touch her left foot to each base.
Sarah hit her first home run and, because her opponents carried her, she was able to make it all the way around the bases.
Life is more about winning. It’s about playing the game with integrity. It’s about doing what is right even though it may cost you. Central lost the game by 2 runs. Who knows, if they hadn’t carried Sarah, they may have won the game. Call me mad, but losing this way is far better than winning by using the rules as an excuse to keep from doing the right thing. I don’t think the girls from either school would have wanted it any other way.
As a preacher myself I like to listen to other sermons. Get a load of this one.
I think it’s safe to say I’m a little less animated than this gentleman. Am I mad, or is the Gospel the same whether we whisper it or shout it?
Is this kind of preaching effective? What would you do if you were invited by a friend to church and this was the message? Share a serious reaction and a funny one.
Peter and John, two of Jesus' disciples healed a man who was crippled from birth. The religious rulers got really excited. But not in a good way. Kind of in a way when you come home and you discover your dog thought your favorite pillow was his latest chew toy. And you shout out, "What are you doing?"
The religious leaders got in Peter and John's face and shouted "What are you doing?" That's kind of a paraphrase but I'm pretty sure they didn't sit down with them at the local Star of David Bucks and calmly say, "So tell us more about these miracles you're performing. Would you like a scone before continuing?"
What gets to me is these "leaders" don't seem to care that a man crippled from birth was healed. Now Peter starts talking. And when Peter talks, you'd better get comfortable because he usually has a lot to say. He says, "Are we being questioned because we've done a good deed for a crippled man?" (That there is not a paraphrase, it's Acts 4:9)
Peter and John performed a miracle. The whole community saw this young crippled boy grow into a crippled man. Now Peter and John heal him and they have a message about the Power that actually did the healing. Wouldn't you want to know more? The religious leaders didn't. They saw a challenge to their authority.
How many times have we ignored something good because it challenges our "authority"?
I may be crazy, but if I met someone who could heal the lame with a touch and a prayer, I'd want to know how they did it!
What do you think?