A Quiet Listening Heart

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful Colossians 3:15

Even with cell phones, computers and dozens of social agencies one of the greatest problems we face today is loneliness. It still feels as if no one is listening. God’s word points us to His solution: the peace of Jesus Christ. The first peace we need is peace with God. When we come to Jesus Christ He releases us from trying to be good enough because in Him we discover that no matter what; He loves us. He came into the world to sit with sinners and His cry of forgiveness from the cross quiets our hearts. Secondly the Bible points out that we are called into one body with everyone else who belongs to Him. God designed us with a longing to belong; and that longing is met in connection with His people. He shows us that our own loneliness does not give us an excuse to isolate ourselves but instead we should take the initiative to listen to someone else’s hurts.  Listening brings us all together. Along our journey towards peace we finally also discover peace with ourselves. After spending our lives struggling trying to be special we find peace only when we discover that everyone (including us) is special to God. In the moment that we find out that God has been listening to us all along His peace begins to perfectly reign. Once His wonderful peace  in we will begin to hear. There in a quiet heart we will be able to truly listen and to hear the hearts of others and of God.

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Counting Blessings

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. Psalm 23:1-2 ESV

The Lord is not only my shepherd He is a good shepherd for everyone who comes to Him and He fills our lives with blessings. It may be that having spent a lifetime learning that reality is why “Count Your Blessings” is one of the all time favorites at the Nursing Home meetings I lead every week. You might ask how people sitting in wheel chairs and often without any family or friends can sing about being blessed. It could be that because they are in a place where neither money nor position matter any longer they see more clearly  what is truly a blessing. They have a perspective that includes delighting in different kinds of blessings.  Featured Image -- 18926

Walking into most rooms, you will notice that usually one of the personal items on the nightstand or hung on the wall includes a photograph of their family. Whether it is a faded wedding picture from many years ago or a more recent shot of children and grandchildren it is a reminder of blessings of a lifetime to be thankful for. Then if you stay for a longer  visit some people will begin to show you hand written birthday cards from a grandchild or a box of candy from a friend. Stay a bit longer and they will tell you how much they appreciate you coming by to give them some of your time. Small blessings we pass by in our hurry to go places are instead savored by folks whose life is now lived day by day.

Last of all if you peek into the corner in some rooms you will often see a Bible, a cross or their rosary beads. Today; though the journey has not lead to where they ever imagined they have found that the greatest blessing of all does not lie anywhere here on earth. The blessing that they now value highest of all is the one that is to come when every blessing is found in Christ!

He Knows My Name!

Just back from visiting my dear ones today at the nursing home. The best part of our morning praise service is shaking hands with each other and greeting one another by name. I wonder if that is how it will be as we enter heaven. I know Jesus says He is the door so I am looking forward to Him greeting me by name. Have a blessed week!!

New Beginnings

But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  John 10:2-3 ESV

As we approached, the little flock of sheep crossed the small gravel road and huddled together with their faces pressed against a building. They hid their faces maybe hoping that we wouldn’t see them. But after our car passed over the rutted road, the young boy acting as their shepherd patiently led them back towards their pasture. Though we had intended them no harm; the sheep did not feel safe in our presence. They did not know us and we did not know their names.

woman holding sheep beside wall Photo by Tim Savage on Pexels.com

That flock of sheep that I met once in India, remind me a lot of the people I meet in nursing homes…

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