The Ministry of Listening

January 7, 2015


Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg

SCRIPTURE

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

~James 1:19, NLT

QUOTE

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

~Stephen R. Covey

my thoughts red

Listening is an art, perhaps even a gift. Listening has a magnetic pull and a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we enjoy being with. We feel cared about, even important when someone listens to us. Many of us know the embarrassment of having someone walk away before we have finished our story. I was talking to Harold Dilworth about our ice machine last night and in the middle of my story, he said, “Jack, I have to go.” I said, “You are not going anywhere until I finish this story.” I think Shirley was waiting for him to take her out to eat.

My wife says I am a horrible listener. She also says I cannot hear. My daughters say that I can hear what I want to hear but that I don’t listen. All my siblings agree with my wife and children. I am a horrible listener. John and Monica Newby named their boy Jack. Jimmy said, “He is always on the move.” I said, “When you name a kid Jack, you may as well expect him to be hyper.” I should have ask them if little Jack was a good listener: I lay odds that he is not. Hey, I want to be a good listener, I’m just not.

I got to spend some time with Henry last week and I guess for the first time in my life I listened to him. I am ashamed to confess the truth but I think he had been trying to tell me some things for years and I was not paying attention. Some people have a sensitivity about being overweight: Henry was sensitive about being thin. Since I’ve never been thin and have to diet constantly to keep from weighing 300 pounds, I just assumed that anyone could gain weight if they ate. I picked at Henry his entire life about his need to gain weight. Saturday night I apologized to Henry for all my comments and he forgave me. One of the best ways to express your love to a person is to pay attention to them. Henry’s condition broke my heart and opened my ears: I regret that it took something like this to make me really listen.

extra 2

  • Today we pray for the WORLD.
  • Tonight is our first full Wednesday night of the year and it will be my first 12 hour day. Supper at 5:30, AWANA at 6:15,  and the GATHERING at 6:30.
  • We are going to have a SUNDAY MORNING COMMUNION SERVICE this Sunday. Deacons wear tie and jacket. Hey we can do it once a year. Choir members and band be watching Michael W. Smith’s Agnus Dei {Lamb of God} on YouTube.
  • Henry’s COLS is today at one: lift up a pray.
Henry_n

Henry Eugene, Oma and Tina

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