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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Listen Up!

A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day... 30,000 to a man's 15,000. The wife replied, "The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men.” The husband then turned to his wife and asked, "What?"

Listening is an important communication skill not only in marriage but also in our daily relationship with the Lord. Jesus compared those who listen to His words to a wise man who built his house on a rock. When a raging storm struck the house, it stood firm. Similarly, the life built on Jesus’ words survives life’s storms.

When the Lord called young Samuel into His service, Samuel wisely responded, “Speak, for Your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:10b). Unfortunately, we are prone to say, “Listen, for Your servant is speaking.”

Better listening leads to a better, stronger life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Text Message

I was in Denver Monday and Tuesday for the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writers Guild board and mentors' meetings. I have been a board member and mentor since Jerry purchased the Guild from Norm Rohrer seven years ago. The meetings convened at the Grand Hyatt, where it is rumored Barack Obama will stay during the upcoming Democratic Convention.

Before I leave soon for the midweek service at the church in Penrose, I want to express my dismay that text messaging, which has become so popular with teens, includes the frequent use of the abbreviation OMG. In case you didn’t know, OMG stands for “Oh my God!” How ironic that God’s name is profaned so casually in a country that claims to be “one nation under God.”

Now, here’s a text message from God. The text is Exodus 20:7. The message is: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, fore the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rest Stops

“ . . . he said to them [the disciples], ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31).

It doesn’t do us any good to get on a highway and drive many hours without taking a break. Sure, we may arrive at our destination earlier, but we are likely to arrive grumpy, jumpy, and lumpy. A painful back, a stiff neck, tired eyes, sore arms, and aching hands are some of the products of sitting for hours behind the wheel. Stopping and stretching every couple of hours can make a big difference in how we feel after a long day on the road.

Most states provide clean, comfortable rest areas for travelers. Usually, a drinking fountain and a pop machine stand in a conspicuous spot. Some rest areas include dog walks. If you travel in the Chicago area, you may be pleasantly surprised to find fast food restaurants at rest areas. Because the restaurants span the interstate highway, you can sit at a table, enjoy your food, and watch cars and trucks pass below you.

In addition to rest areas, convenient restaurants, motels, service stations, and shopping areas cluster near highway exists. You can’t miss the posted signs that announce those services.

Mark, chapter 6, informs us Jesus’ disciples had returned to Him after an extremely busy itinerant ministry. They hadn’t even had a chance to eat. Knowing the importance of physical rest, Jesus invited them to accompany Him to a quiet place and get some rest.

The long journey through life offers opportunities to check out of constant busyness and check in for some much-needed rest. Quiet moments with Jesus prepare us for the next leg of the journey.

—By Jim Dyet. © 2008, Anchor