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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How Well Do We Listen?

A cartoon shows a man seated in a recliner and reading a newspaper. His wife exclaims, “George, the garage is on fire.” He replies, ”That’s nice, Dear.”

Many married couples can relate to the cartoon’s message: Husbands can be very poor listeners. Of course, there is always the possibility a husband is losing his sense of hearing. In that case, a hearing test can determine whether hearing aids might improve his quality of life—and his wife’s.

Good hearing and good listening are not necessarily synonymous. A person may hear every word a nutritionist speaks about healthful eating and then enter the nearest restaurant and order pecan pie with two scoops of ice cream. Another person may hear her doctor say she must exercise at least 30 minutes daily or risk a heart attack or stroke, but she may continue to play the role of a couch potato. In each case, neither person listened.

Wisdom is personified in Jesus and disclosed in Scripture. If we merely read Jesus’ words and dismiss them, we have only heard them. But if we read and obey His words, we have listened to them. Let’s be like the boy Samuel, who prayed, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Have Bible. Will Travel.

I was 16 when I believed God called me to preach the gospel. At 18, while I was a student at Moody Bible Institute, I received a license to preach. During my Junior and Senior years at Moody, I preached every Sunday morning at Chicago’s Pacific Garden Mission. After graduating from Moody, I attended Houghton College, Houghton New York, and opened a closed country church that I served as pastor until I returned home to Canada after graduating and marrying Gloria. I was ordained in 1961.

I suppose nostalgia turned my thoughts to places I have preached since I received the call to do so. I may have forgotten a few, but I think the following list is fairly complete. If the Lord wills, the list will grow.

A personal observation: I believe the need for faithful Biblical preaching is greater now than at any previous time.

COLORADO: Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Castle Rock, Monument, Pueblo, Parker, Pueblo West, Penrose, Leadville, Eagle, New Castle, Jefferson, Ft. Collins, Fowler, Holly, Crook, Arvada, Colorado Springs, Falcon, Golden

ILLINOIS: Chicago, St. Charles, Alton, Shelbyville, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, West Dundee, Arlington Heights, Naperville, Lombard, Utica, Peoria, Bensonville, East Moline, Des Plaines, Itasca, Streamwood, Warrenville, Orland Park, Mokena, Henry

INDIANA: West Terre Haute, Terre Haute, Indianapolis, Valparaiso, Crawfordsville, Veedersburg, Plymouth

OHIO: Mansfield, Gallipolis

IOWA: Council Bluffs, Manchester

MINNESOTA: Faribault, Burnsville

MISSOURI: Brentwood

KANSAS: Kansas City, Goodland, Wichita, Hutchinson, Stafford, Loretta, Shawnee

GEORGIA: Franklin Springs, Roswell

TENNESSEE: Murfreesboro, Greeneville

VIRGINIA: Manassas, Arlington, McLean




DELAWARE: Newark, Milford

MASSACHUSETTS: Springfield, Norfolk, Lunenburg

WYOMING: Torrington

WISCONSIN: Racine, Westfield

NEW YORK: Williamson, Grand Island, Warsaw, Attica, Alden, Webster, Syosset, Wellsville, Olean, Rawson, Belfast, Perth, Johnson City, Harpursville, Liberty, Penn Yan

PENNSYLVANIA: Altoona, Enola, Roaring Spring, Ebensburg, Everett, Levittown

MICHIGAN: Dollar Bay, Lansing, Jackson, Paw Paw

NEW JERSEY: Manahawkin, Dover, Fair Lawn

CALIFORNIA: Antioch, Castro Valley, Los Angeles

OREGON: Forest Grove


TEXAS: Dallas

ONTARIO: St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, Toronto, Stouffville, Oshawa, Leamington, Brantford, Bracebridge, London, Huntsville, Burford, Scotland