listening

Called to Listen

We had dinner last night with a lovely couple & the husband said something profound that is continuing to echo in my thoughts today:  We are not all called to talk, in terms of public speaking, but we are all called to listen.

There are times, no doubt, when we need to speak up & be advocates for love and justice.  Additionally, some of us have the gift of gab & our personality lends itself to be a “talker.”  But let us never minimize the importance of listening – not only with our ears or intellect (so that we can interject a witty comment or some helpful wisdom), but also with our heart, so that we can be attentive with compassion, tender affection and gentle endurance.

In Mark 4:9, Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Have a happy listening weekend!

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Where’s the Proof?

Do you remember having those recess arguments in elementary school when you’d defiantly exclaim, “Prove it!!!”?  It seems like we humans have a passion for certainty & evidence helps to prove certainty. 

So I find it interesting that James 2:18 says, “ . . . , You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”  When I read this verse, it provokes me to look at my actions more than what I say. It’s easy to say that I believe in Jesus & I believe in the Bible. But the real evidence of what I believe is demonstrated by what I do. So let’s endeavor, with God’s Help, to be doers of God’s Word & not merely people who hear or talk a big game. Proof of our faith is in doing & not just speaking 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in busy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, values, watch, 0 comments

Speaking With Wisdom

Almost all of us have said things we wish we hadn’t. A few weeks back, I was passing through our church lobby & greeting various attendees & I shot off my mouth. I felt totally stupid & wish I could stuff those words back in my mouth. But of course, I can’t.
Here’s some wisdom my friend told me that I’ve employed & found to be immensely helpful. When speaking, consider these questions:

  1. Should this be said?
  2. Am I the person to say this?
  3. Is this the right time to say this?

Feel free to share this with your fiends & friends ,)

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, listen, living, prayer, relationships, thought life, values, watch, 1 comment

When Listening Isn’t Enough

I’m a big advocate of listening. I think it’s essential that we listen to our kids, our mate, our friends, teachers, supervisors, pastors, political candidates, etc. Listening helps us learn, develops patience & is an essential ingredient for connecting with people. But alas, we cannot emphasize listening at the expense of doing. 
This morning I read Jesus’ brief parable that contrasts a wise man with a foolish man, at the end of Matthew 8. In this contrast, Jesus explains that the wise man listens to God & acts upon what he hears. The foolish man, however, listens but doesn’t do anything. Let’s allow God’s Word to inform & shape our actions. Let’s be “doers” & not just listeners 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

selective listening

Have you ever had one of those conversations where someone said something insensitive to you & you didn’t know if or how to respond?  This morning I was chatting with a lovely group of ladies & someone said something to me that was kind of zingy & I found myself suspended in that moment trying to figure out what to do.  Having given it some thought, here are some take aways I’m choosing that might help you as well:

  • benefit of the doubt:  I’m sure this person didn’t mean for her comment to be zingy & even if she did, I’m choosing to see her from a positive perspective
  • forgiving:  quick is better than nursing & rehearsing which only gives my emotions a fever
  • ignore:  rather than call this person out of their comment, I decided to dismiss the comment & adjust the conversation for a different trajectory (translation:  change the subject)
  • some people just have a zingy edge:  truth be known, we can always use some help with our diplomacy skills, so it’s best just to be fully graceful with the help of the Holy Spirit & know that we are all growing, learning and improving 🙂

Happy Labor Day weekend & feel free to share this post with your friends on FB & be sure to signup by email for this blog to keep some encouragement in your inbox 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, values, watch, 0 comments

South Sudan Journey

I’ve been in South Sudan now for almost a week & have had the honor to travel to many different places, most of which I’d not be able to pronounce nor find on a map – it has all been a very wonderful experience. I’ve met some really great moms & seen some very fabulous babies, looking with Saving Moses for babies who have urgent needs & where the care is least available. South Sudan is an interesting place – it will celebrate its 2nd birthday next week, so in many respects, it is a baby country & it feels fresh from getting to travel around over the last week.
I’ve met beautiful people & seen some difficult situations but I feel hope in my heart for this nation because the people are wonderful. They’re kind, friendly, helpful, beautiful, generous, hospitable & very warm. They are very intelligent & have a confidence & hardiness to them after decades of conflict with their northern neighbors. I love getting to be with them, learn some of their language, culture, values, hopes & dreams. This is a wonderful country & I say, “happy early birthday South Sudan!” May you continue to develop, be strong & be great!
The attached pic is a burned down home from a rebel group who was causing some serious problems in a rural area. We visited this village today & learned that more than 100 people died here at the beginning of the month from the rebels

20130628-174909.jpg

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, saving moses, South Sudan, travel, 0 comments

South Sudan Journey

I’ve been in South Sudan now for almost a week & have had the honor to travel to many different places, most of which I’d not be able to pronounce nor find on a map – it has all been a very wonderful experience. I’ve met some really great moms & seen some very fabulous babies, looking with Saving Moses for babies who have urgent needs & where the care is least available. South Sudan is an interesting place – it will celebrate its 2nd birthday next week, so in many respects, it is a baby country & it feels fresh from getting to travel around over the last week.
I’ve met beautiful people & seen some difficult situations but I feel hope in my heart for this nation because the people are wonderful. They’re kind, friendly, helpful, beautiful, generous, hospitable & very warm. They are very intelligent & have a confidence & hardiness to them after decades of conflict with their northern neighbors. I love getting to be with them, learn some of their language, culture, values, hopes & dreams. This is a wonderful country & I say, “happy early birthday South Sudan!” May you continue to develop, be strong & be great!

20130628-174452.jpg

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, saving moses, South Sudan, travel, 0 comments

Lets take a walk

I like to take walks no matter what the season is because they can help me relax & kind of think through some things. The destination for the walk isn’t as important to me as the experience of just walking & enjoying being outside. With that being said, it’s important in our thinking to be mindful of how we are thinking & the things on which we are focusing. If we focus on hardship & struggles, such things tend to get magnified. If we keep our thoughts & focus on Jesus, who is walking with us everyday, then the hardships stay small in light of our loving Savior 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, 2 comments

selective hearing

When I was growing up, I had a 2nd family with whom I was really close & I noticed after some time, that the husband / dad had some hearing difficulties.  When I started to watch him more closely, I noticed that he could overhear “quiet” conversations in the next room, but would be oblivious to some conversations within his immediate hearing.  I thought this was really strange until someone pointed out that he had a hearing condition called “wife deafness.”  I had never heard of this condition & they explained to me that sometimes husbands or wives develop this impairment after several years of marriage – I got it, it was a joke, kind of ,)

While it was kind of funny to learn some of the quirky dynamics of my 2nd family, there’s some really good application that I use with this observation on a regular basis:  there are some voices & conversations that don’t need my attention nor do they help me to grow closer to God.  So some selective hearing is a good thing – like Jesus said in John 10, “My sheep know my voice & the voice of a stranger they won’t follow.” 😀

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, spiritual, 0 comments

Listen, learn, lean

Listening is an interesting exercise – it requires us to be attentive, engaged & present with the person to whom we listen. It’s also an interesting thought to consider that we learn the best when we listen & not just talk.
In all of this, my most important focus is to listen to God, learn from God & lean into God. For me, I find that I lean & trust in God best when I’m learning from & listening to God. It’s also the converse for me that when I’m not listening to or learning from God, I find it more difficult to lean & trust in God. So lets be great learners, listeners & “leaners” 🙂

CONNECT WITH ME ON:
Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments