Archive for the ‘Listening’ Category

Seeing and hearing

March 23, 2016

Like anything else in life, if we don’t use it or practice it on a regular basis, we can become less acquainted with that which we used to do on a regular basis.

This past Saturday, i was seeking God and wanting to go out again and be led of the Spirit to where He wanted me to go. This is a big part of the ministry that the Lord has given me and called me to over the years. I have seen some really divine moves of God into this realm of the Spirit. My heart craves for more of the Spirit of God to “see” and to “hear”, then to move into that realm.

As we were waiting upon Him, He soon gave us the route to take and the place to go. We were to head out on foot east, then turn north and walk up to the “Target” store. As we walked, we prayed, and at the same time looked around to see if there was any people around that He might be leading us to. During the approximate mile long walk, there was no one who we sensed we were to talk to. Soon we were at the Target store and walked into the restroom. Once inside, we spotted a young guy washing himself at the sink. We knew immediately that he was the one to speak to. However, not at the present time.

We left and went outside after hearing to wait out there for him to come out. After a few minutes, we looked ahead down the walkway and spotted him. Our immediate thought was “wow, he sure looks different from when he was under the lights in the restroom”. We proceeded to follow him. Up ahead, we saw him take a left into the store next door. We heard to wait there for him to come out. After waiting a few, he comes out, and we say to him, “Hey brother! Come on over here and tell me what God is doing in your life”. We saw that he had a shirt on that had a small cross on it and a ministry name under it.

He began to share his testimony of being saved right after getting out of prison, and being now clean for 30 days. He shared how God had delivered him and how thankful he was. I asked him if he has been tempted to use again since being clean. He said “oh yes”. I then heard that i was to pray for him regarding this help. So i asked him if i could pray for him. He smiled and said “sure!”. As we did, we really prayed for his protection. We covered him in the armor of the Lord, from his head to his toes. When finished, he was blessed and encouraged. We soon parted our ways. He went down the walkway, i took off to my left and went across the parking lot.

After about 10 minutes and turning to my right to follow the sidewalk, i look up ahead to the intersection and i see him and a guy standing with him at the light. As i walked up, i immediately noticed that the guy that was with him was the guy that i originally saw in the bathroom. I said to him, “Hey you were the one who i saw in the restroon”. He said that he remembered seeing me also. I then was amazed at what had just been revealed to me…..

Here i was in the presence of these two guys, one who i thought was the one from the restroom in which i prayed with, the other who i didn’t pray with which was the guy from the restroom. Just how did my “seeing” and “hearing” play into this all? Was God once again just showing his sovereignty? Would things of changed out differently if i were to of “saw” and “heard” differently? Was this just how it was all to play out, i.e. the guy that i prayed with was the reason why i was to go to “Target” in the first place?

I find it all interesting.

Then the guy introduces me to the other guy. He quickly shares his testimony of being saved and how he was also clean from addiction. He lit up as he was sharing about God’s power to save and keep him. They were both there that day to also collect money at the intersection for the ministry that they were a part of. All three of us rejoiced at God’s goodness and how our divine appointment all transpired.

Someday we will see clearly, see completely. Until now, i endeavor to “see” and “hear” more clearly as i approach the gates of heaven.

“In your quest for knowledge, don’t forget Jesus”

January 21, 2012

He was a 24yr. old guy who was raised in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. When he got into High School, he decided to take his stand with those who just say regarding God, “I just don’t know”.

I had just sat down at the back of the bus, when along comes this guy and parks at the back, two seats away. I knew right off the bat that this was no “happen chance” here. So, I said “Hi” and handed him a card. He looked at it and handed it back. (Most of the times when this happens, I smile and say “Ok” and or “God bless you”. I am so thankful that I didn’t this time)

After he handed it back, I said, “so you’re not interested in God?” Then the hour-long dialogue started. I love them. Dialogues are of course, you talk, I listen. I talk, you listen. How often do you see this? How often do you partake in one? Dialogues give the Holy Spirit time to operate, instead of “land-blasting”, then they look at their phone after about 10 minutes and say, “hey, I gotta go now”. While this dialogue is taking place, your listening to what the other person is saying, and the Holy Spirit is giving you something to say off of what they are saying. While he is listening, the Holy Spirit is moving upon his heart. It’s awesome!

Now, here was a guy who was no doubt, very intelligent. It didn’t take me very long to figure out what was going on with him. I have met many people over the years that have allowed their knowledge, their reasoning to get in the way. He was going to college to get a major in mathematics. Believe me, this guy had some smarts. He talked about stuff that was way off my charts, for sure. The Holy Spirit just had me listen, then He would give me some stuff to remind him of Christ. We went into the Gospels, and also shared a little regarding Solomon.

Besides being reminded about Jesus, we shared how God is Spirit, and that it takes a spiritual birth to enter and to understand His Kingdom. At times, he would grasp a little, then his brain would kick in and off he would go to another planet. That was OK, because the Spirit knew just how to circumvent his reasoning and bring it back to the basics. I am so thankful that it doesn’t matter how smart, or not how smart you are, God can deal with anything.

So, towards the end of our conversion, the Spirit had me ask him if He ever remembered being born again while he was younger. He could not pin-point a time, and seemed to not clearly remember a time where he knew for sure. So, I reminded him of the necessity again.

My stop came, and it was time to get off. The Spirit had me lean over to him and tap him on the shoulder and say, “In your quest for knowledge, don’t forget Jesus”. We both smiled, shook hands and parted. I hope to see him someday 🙂

Are we open to receive?

October 31, 2011

When I say “open to receive”, I am not just talking about being open to receive knowledge of the scriptures, but also, learning to hear the voice of the Spirit of God to lead you. From what I am hearing and gathering, there seems to be a “famine in the land”. Not only from hearing the “written word”, but the “spoken word”.

We must ask ourselves, “I’m I being led by the Spirit?” One of the Greek definitions for the word “led”, is “be open”. Are we? If we are “being led by the Spirit” we are “open” to receive. We are not a closed book. We must remain available and open to receive revelation. Not only revelation of His word, but revelation through His Spirit to us personally. If we are saying that we are “led by His Spirit”, then we will have testimony of what, where and how the Spirit has led us. There has to be fruit.

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Gal. 5:18)

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14)

There are NO happen chances with God

August 13, 2010

Almost daily, I am amazed at how exact and purposeful God is. He truly makes No mistakes. He is right on time (I might add, his time, not ours).

Yesterday after finishing sharing the Gospel, a young man came up and had some questions. It had to do with his mother who recently passed away. He was troubled by a lady who had no compassion on him for his lost. The lady who meant good I’m sure, but who could not get beyond religious talk to him. She failed to reach him. She did not hear his pain, his loss. Instead, she was going for the typical “evangelistic” response. This is where we need to get back to our example, Jesus Christ. Not where he dealt with the religious, but where he dealt with the sinners, the lost, the hurting etc.

Compassion fails when we become stuck in our routine efforts of evangelism. We must remember that The Spirit is always moving. It is not stagnant. It knows little of routine. What might work for one person, will not work for the other. If we fail to listen to the person, we fail to hear what the Spirit might be saying for the person. This is just the way it works. This is why I am so against “canned evangelism”. The Spirit is limited to work upon the individual in this method. The individual need is what is at stake. If we don’t hear, then we don’t get what the need might be, and thus through the Spirit address the need. Listening must come first.

Anyways, this guy begins to pour out his heart to me. As he does, the Spirit gives me things to say to him. By His grace, I do not “railroad” him with a lot of religious jargon. He is hurting from the lost of his mother. The Spirit gives me the right things to say to him in his hurt and pain. Yes, we do eventually address his own spiritual condition, and he opens up and shares that. But, it must come in stages. It must be with God’s compassion and love.

Now, here is the beauty of God. Here is what I wanted to share regarding, “NO happen chances with God”.

I had never met, nor seen this man before. Approximately, two month’s ago he was in an area that I had been in that is about two miles away from where we met. I never seen him that day. However, he shared with me that he had remembered seeing me up there that day. He shared with me, that a lady had bought me coffee that day, but I had left before she had come back to give it to me. I never got the chance to meet her.

Here is the “God shot”. I had accidentally left my water bottle where I was standing that day. She had returned to give me the coffee, and only found the water bottle there. She pulls out some paper from her purse, and writes a note to me, and sticks it under the bottle, in hopes that I would return to read it. She leaves. All the time, this guy who is now sharing this all with me, is watching from a distance as the lady puts the note under the bottle and leaves. After a while,  his curiosity gets him, so he walks over a picks up the note and reads it to himself.

It tells about how the lady was touched by what was said, and how she appreciated someone sharing the Gospel on that corner. It was just what she needed to hear that day. She was expressing her thankfulness in the note.

This guy who now stood in front of me two months later, was also sharing how he was touched that day. Not only by what I was saying, but what the lady had written that day.

And all this was just “happen chance”, right? NO WAY! It has God written all over it. It shows us (me again), that we most often don’t know of the impact that we have on others. Sometimes (like this case) He does show us. Oh, but all the other times where He elects to not show us. He has His good reasons for that. I am OK with that. He knew that this was one of those times that I needed the encouragement though.

Thank you God! You are perfect in all your ways! You are exact in all you do! You make NO mistakes!

May many more come into His Kingdom here on earth and experience Him while living. May they too, experience Him outside of the box. May they be sent out into a world filled with pain, sorrow and hurt. May we be His hands and feet, each day that we go out! This is the reason to live. To live for Him! Temporary satisfaction doesn’t cut it. True satisfaction is where it’s at! And all this that I am sharing here is “Kingdom living”. It’s not about being a religious “Jehovah Witness” either. True Kingdom living has nothing to do with man made religion.

Even in the “church world”, many are stuck in church meetings after church meetings, waiting for God to show up. Waiting for Him to manifest himself. While all the time He is outside the doors. In many cases, He is knocking, trying to get inside, but everyone is too busy with “church”.

Christ set the example. If we want to find Him, we need to look no further than our neighbor who is next to us. It could be the person standing in line next to us at the checkout stand. Will we open our mouth and say something to them? Will we show them that we care about them? Do we even notice them? Do we love them as we love ourselves?

Also, God could be sending us an Angel to see what we will do with them. That Angel could be in the form of a person who is hurting, or a person who is physically challenged that just needs to know that he does exists here. Or, maybe a person in a wheel chair that needs someone to ask him or her if they could help them up the sidewalk to the library.

May God help us all to take an active part in being Jesus to a lost world that so desperately needs to see and experience Him.

Bless you all!

My lost brother is found!

May 14, 2010

Awesome day today. The Spirit of God was flowing and moving upon hearts.

I was preaching on the corner, and all of a sudden my brother in our lord who I haven’t seen in 6 month’s, shows up. Praise Him! I have been very concerned about him. His phone was shut off. I tried to locate him at a local college on a couple of occasions. All to no avail.

I remember one time I showed up at his school with real anticipation in hopes of finding him. It took me about 50 yards into the school grounds to realize that it was spring break. My face dropped. Then I heard the Lord say through His Spirit, “you know you can use this time to pray for him”. So I walked the campus and prayed for him.

I have been concerned for him because the last time I had seen him he was discouraged. He had come to one of our Tuesday gatherings at the mall. I knew that he was taking on a big school load also.

So today we caught up. I bought him lunch and we spent two hours conversing together. He is struggling, but knows what he needs to do. It was a good time of encouragement, listening and praying.

God is so good! He is truly capable to cause people to come together for His plan and purpose. After all, He is all about people, right?

Sweet Downloads

April 2, 2010

There is nothing like hearing and then acting out what you hear.

Today, as I was traveling into town on the train, I was noticing the sky outside. As the train was about to stop at one of the many stops before downtown, I saw a vacant lot and the sidewalk out in front. I heard, “stand there and look into the sky”. So, when it stopped, I headed in that direction.

After crossing the intersection, I walked towards the lot and stood on the sidewalk facing the lot, looking up at the sky. It was so beautiful. I stood there, and the earth stood still, but the clouds were ever changing.

Then the Spirit spoke, and I took out my pocket tablet and began to write. This is unedited, straight from the Spirit. Hope you are blessed!

The painting of God in the clouds

The whites, the grays, the blue skies. Master painting, the stroke of the masters hand. Different shades of blue, gray, whites. Ever changing, moment by moment. Painting in motion.

Below, the flowers stand out. The color of each. The green grass as the sun hits it. Different shades in it. The red bush in the distance, stands out. The pink little flowers in the grass, just a short distance away.

Oh the beauty of God’s creation. Trees taking on new greenery. Don’t forget the yellow dandelion, it is always consistent.

There you have it. I hope you also are learning to hear and then obey. It is going to be very important in the coming days. This is just preparation time. We must be practicing what we hear. Living it out as He gives it to us. If we are too busy, we won’t hear. If our minds are cluttered with ever thought at every moment, we won’t hear. I have found it so.

“He that has an ear, let him hear”

Good communication warnings

December 10, 2009

We always need to be aware of the other person or persons that we are talking to. Are we doing all the talking? Good dialogue is : one talks the other listens. Then the other talks and one listens. This is extremely important when we are “witnessing”. We must learn how to listen if we are going to be affective.
Also, in small group settings, we must learn to listen. We must give each person opportunity to speak. Nothing is worse then being in a group setting and two or three do all the talking, when there may be ten in the group.

I came across these “8 signs you might be boring someone.”
God bless you.

A recent Psychology Today article by Gretchen Rubin provides a list of clues that you might be boring someone during a conversation. I’ve certainly been trapped in conversations with people who didn’t understand how to pick up on subtle clues that their long narrative about a weird dream they had or a particularly awesome golf game they played were boring the heck out of me — and just the same, I’m sure I’ve been oblivious to those signs in others, as well. Have you been on the giving or receiving end of any of these signs?

1. Repeated, perfunctory responses.
A person who repeats, “Oh really? Wow. Oh really? Interesting.” isn’t particularly engaged.

2. Simple questions. People who are bored ask simple questions.
“When did you move?” “Where did you go?” People who are interested ask more complicated questions that show curiosity, not mere politeness.

3. Interruption. Although it sounds rude, interruption is actually a good sign, I think. It means a person is bursting to say something, and that shows interest. Similarly…

4. Request for clarification. A person who is sincerely interested in what you’re saying will ask you to elaborate or to explain. “What does that term mean?” “When exactly did that happen?” “Then what did he say?” are the kinds of questions that show that someone is trying closely to follow what you’re saying.

5. Imbalance of talking time. I suspect that many people fondly suppose that they usually do eighty percent of the talking because people find them fascinating. Sometimes, it’s true, a discussion involves a huge download of information desired by the listener; that’s a very satisfying kind of conversation. In general, though, people who are interested in a subject have things to say themselves; they want to add their own opinions, information, and experiences. If they aren’t doing that, they’re probably keeping quiet in the hopes that the conversation will end faster. Or maybe you just aren’t letting them get a word in — recently I was talking to someone who, though fascinating, didn’t want to let me contribute to the conversation. I enjoyed it, but not as much as if I’d been able to talk, too.

6. Abrupt changes in topic. If you’re talking to someone about, say, the life of Winston Churchill (I have a tendency to dwell at length on this particular subject), and all of a sudden the other person says, “So how are your kids?”, it’s a sign that he or she isn’t very interested or perhaps not listening at all. When someone makes this kind of switch, I have to fight the urge not to drag the topic back to what I want to talk about – but the fact that someone has introduced a completely different subject is a sure sign that the subject is not engaging.

7. Body position. People with a good connection generally turn to face each other. A person who is partially turned away isn’t fully embracing the conversation. Along the same lines, if you’re a speaker trying to figure out if an audience is interested in what you’re saying:

8. Audience posture. Back in 1885, Sir Francis Galton wrote a paper called “The Measurement of Fidget.” He determined that people slouch and lean when bored, so a speaker can measure the boredom of an audience by seeing how far from vertically upright they are. Also, attentive people fidget less; bored people fidget more. An audience that’s sitting still and upright is interested, while an audience that’s horizontal and squirmy is bored.

The Truth stands all by itself

February 20, 2009

Many times those who oppose Christ will come up to me and speak what they think is the truth.

I have found that it is best to listen to them for a few minutes, then ask them if you can speak. This is usually necessary because they want to carry on for long lengths of time before you can say anything.

This is also important on our end. When presenting the Gospel to another person, stop from time to time to give them an opportunity to speak. You will have much better success if they can participate in the discussion. A one sided conversation goes nowhere. This is true in all forms of communication.

When someone comes along of another faith such as Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu etc., present truth to them as much as possible. The truth being, Christ and the Word. The fact of the matter is that His word never returns void. And quite frankly, it doesn’t need any help. It can stand all by itself. We can rest in that.

Usually after 10 or 15 minutes you can since if the discussion is going somewhere or not. He is able to give us discernment. If it turns into a back and forth debate where it is no more than cutting each other off before you can each explain yourself, then it’s done. You are wasting your time. It is particularly bad if others are watching and all they hear is one trying to out do the other. Chances are that someone won’t come running up to you and yell out, “I want what you got”.

If I since that the discussion is going nowhere after some time, I will say something like this, “I have to go, but can I leave you with this?” (Usually they will stop and listen when I say this). I will continue and say, “Jesus Christ said this himself”, (make sure that you look them in the eyes as you tell them this) “if you believe not that I am He, you will die in your sins.” And then I will say, “there you have it, pretty simple isn’t it?”

Smile and say, “gotta go, have a nice day”

Remember, His words do not return void as you go off praying for that individual. He or she is in God’s hands and He is pursuing them with His love.

God bless you as you go out!

God moves through our obedience

February 28, 2008

God is God. He will do whatever He pleases. But when it comes to reaching people, nine times out of ten, He uses people. I have seen it over and over again.

Since God is all about people, He will put people in our path (quite literally sometimes). He has reason and purpose for all He does.

In order for God’s will to be fulfilled in the earth, He uses His people to get the job done. The key to fulfilling God’s will in our lives is “listening” and “obeying”. If all His people would learn to do this on a regular basis, we would see a completely different church out there operating. But, for the time being, He is still trying to get their attention away from the world.

One example :
As I was walking to the bus today, I noticed a man ahead of me. I try to be aware of people around me. I believe this is a major key to walking in the Spirit (IE: be aware of your surroundings).

I asked the Lord, “If you want me to talk to this guy, cause me to catch up to him”. For he was up the road a bit. Sure enough, the next thing I knew, I was right next to him.

I said the usual, “how ya doin” (but didn’t just stop there). He began to talk and explain to me about catching the bus etc. We walked along talking about the weather, his job etc. All the time of course, waiting for an opportunity to share Jesus.

The bus came and I asked him if he was taking this bus. He said that he was. We got on, and I walked to the back of the bus as I usually do, hoping that he would follow. I sat down and noticed that he did not come to the back, but sat halfway back. So off we went.

I did some miscellaneous phone stuff, but after that, I continually asked God what do I do now. Do I go up there? If so, what do I say? You know the usual analyzation. I finally shut my mind off.

The next thing I heard was “get up”. So I did. Not knowing what I was going to say, I sat down behind him. The minute I sat down, I heard, “just ask him if he has a relationship with me”. So I did. He smiled and said, “oh yes”. I said, “through Christ?” (this is of top importance because of the teaching of “many ways to God”) He said, “yes”.

Then, he began to tell me about his girl friend. She has been praying for him, that God would put some people into his path to share and encourage him. I was the third person in the last few days that God had placed in his path. He was blown away about how God was doing this lately. He was very encouraged.

What if? What if I would have settled back for a nice peaceful bus ride? What if I would have just kept to myself? What if I would have said, “O well, I guess I wasn’t suppose to talk to him?

The point is, the will of God would not have been done for the given moment of time. He would have missed out. I would have missed out. And his girl friend would have missed out, not having her prayers answered.

Do you see how the kingdom of God works? Through people. It is all about people.

May we all seek to know more about being led of His Spirit. May we listen and then obey.
God bless you all.

What! Trouble and distress can be good?

November 11, 2007

Give me a break! I can hear them say, as they unload all their troubles and distresses upon us.

As you listen to them they unload everything. Wait upon God and ask Him what you should say to them. Give God time. The Holy Spirit is faithful to give you just the right words to say to them. Showing concern and taking the time to listen to them is huge in God’s economy. I have seen it work big time.

Remember, as hard as it is to fathom, God does allow “trouble and distress” to come into a persons life. It is for one good reason, and that is that it might draw them to Himself. It is that it might cause them to “turn” from their ways, and “turn” to God. It is that simple.

Over and over again in God’s word, we see how “trouble and distress” caused people to “turn” back to him. It is a major way that He works. I often say, “If God did not love you, he would let you go your own way and in the end crash and burn”. But no! He loves people so much that He allows “trouble and distress” to come into their lives. Why? So that they might “turn” to Him. Believe it or not, it’s God’s love at work.

Percentage wise, how many people could testify that they came to God when everything was going just fine. They had all things working for them, life was good, so they turned to God because of it? I gather that it would be a very small percentage.

Trouble and distress causes us to seek him, if we indeed let it, right? Oh sure, there is the opposite effect that we must mention to be fair. It can cause a person to run from God and shout, “If that’s the kind of God you are serving, I want nothing to do with him”.

In reality, isn’t that a selfish, spoiled way of thinking? If God makes everything good in my life, and I am prospering and all is well, then I will seek him, then I will serve him. Think about it for a moment.

Down through out history, it has always been the case that “trouble and distress” causes one of two things, it either draws people closer to God, or away from him.(period)

“But in their distress (trouble) they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them” (2Chr.15:4).

So all in all, it is a good time to find Him. It’s a good time to turn. Share Him with those who are in “trouble and distress”. What a perfect opportunity. And history bares the fact that many have come to Him because of it.
Praise Him!