listening distractions

Stop for a minute. No, really stop and listen. What do you hear? Children? TV? laughter? traffic? ticking clock? I hear the washer and dryer, along with Amazing that you had to be told to stop and listen before those sounds hit your awareness. Sure, you ‘knew’ they were there, but you weren’t hearing them.

Scary, isn’t it? How we need a little push or something out of the ordinary to hear something that’s there all the time???

God is speaking if we will listen. We need to actively listen – that means hearing, not just acknowledging noise – but letting it influence our thinking. The quote below is powerful – productivity versus fruitfulness… Hmm…..


We tend to value the volume of things accomplished, and call that “productivity.” God values the importance of things accomplished, and calls it “fruitfulness” (John 15:5). And here’s what’s important to God: that we listen to and believe Jesus. “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29).

So beware of your perceptions. Listening often doesn’t feel like doing. But it might just be the most important thing God wants you to get done today.

the mighty power washer…

pressure washing – deep cleaning – blasting the unwanted, unwelcomed away

While using the power washer on the driveway some analogies came to mind.

1) When cleaning, don’t rush. Doing it right requires strategy, repetition and time. Sounds just like the Christian daily walk.

2) Even the most careful person cannot do major cleaning without splashing water around the target area. Again, people and things around the area being cleaned are gonna get wet! For some there is no effect, others squeal, some help, some are improved as a bonus.

3) It’s work!!!!! Experiences, environment, the trade-off of doing other things — all effect the attitude of those involved in the cleaning.

[originally posted March 2005]

Just for fun…

An American missionary and his family were returning home from several years of service in West Africa.

So that the children would not look conspicuous in homemade, native clothes, their mother outfitted them in the latest fashions from a Mail-Order Catalog. However, it seems the youngsters soon betrayed their unusual cultural background!

As the family walked along the street in Paris, a stop-over on their homeward journey, the parents realized that everyone was staring at them.

Turning around, they discovered that the two little ones who trailed behind were casually walking along . . . . carrying their suitcases perfectly balanced on their heads!

Happy Reformation Day

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing.
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right man on our side,
The man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He.
Lord Sabboth, his name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure.
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers
Not thanks to them, abideth.
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also.
The body they may kill,
God’s truth abideth still.
His kingdom is forever…


world perspective?

This world map shows population density. Lighter colors have fewer people.

The African Continent is BIG!!!! Look at all the countries that will fit in there!

Remove the offending party quickly and get back to business!

As I understand it, Matt (my 6yo nephew) was at football practice last night. He came up to his mom and said, “Here’s my tooth” and went back to the huddle. What???!!! He told her later that it didn’t get knocked out, but it was bothering him so he just reached in and pulled it.

My Bible study has been about hearing God’s voice. One of the best ways to do that is by aggressively (actively) listening. This means focusing – visualizing, turning of the noise, planning ahead for some concentrated time. It might mean getting up early or locking yourself in a closet. It might be helpful to have a prayer list handy – definitely a Bible and a journal.

Being quiet before the Lord also means removing the distractions. Am I ready to reach in and pull out whatever is bothering me; whatever is keeping my from focusing; whatever is affecting my disciplined walk with God? Am I ready to aggressively listen?

The challenge for my Bible study group is to spend at least an hour being quiet before the Lord this next week. Want to take the challenge with me? Maybe you’re already doing that – if so, any comments and helpful advise is welcomed. We’ll see how it goes…

Ps 37:7 The Message
Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him. Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.

Tip: Google Images

Have you ever needed a picture of the Sydney Opera House? What does the Idaho state flag look like? Do you want to see the wind?

Visit to find images by looking at them. Instead of searching for information or text, you can search for just the right picture visually.

When you’re looking at the pictures on the results page, you can hover your cursor over an image to get more information. It tells things like the size of the image, the file type, and where the image is hosted. If you use ‘advanced search’, you can limit or filter by color, size, aspect ratio, or even color!

There are some risks by searching for images. Use the filtering of ‘SafeSearch’. Here are instructions from Google…

Enable the SafeSearch filter

  1. Visit the Google Preferences page.
  2. In the SafeSearch Filtering section, choose the SafeSearch level you’d like to use:
    • Moderate filtering: This option excludes most explicit images from Google Images results but doesn’t filter ordinary web search results. This is your default SafeSearch setting; you’ll receive moderate filtering unless you change it.
    • Strict filtering: This applies SafeSearch filtering to both image and web search results.
    • No filtering: This option turns SafeSearch filtering off completely.
  3. Click Save Preferences when you’re done setting your preferences. 

Give image search a try!

FYI – if you look for images of the wind, you’ll see turbines and clipart and trees blowing, but not really the wind. 🙂

Psalm 27 (The Message) – v14 “Stay with God.”

1 Light, space, zest— that’s God!
So, with him on my side I’m fearless,
afraid of no one and nothing.

2 When vandal hordes ride down
ready to eat me alive,
Those bullies and toughs
fall flat on their faces.

3 When besieged,
I’m calm as a baby.
When all hell breaks loose,
I’m collected and cool.

4 I’m asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
I’ll study at his feet.

5 That’s the only quiet, secure place
in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
far from the buzz of traffic.

6 God holds me head and shoulders
above all who try to pull me down.
I’m headed for his place to offer anthems
that will raise the roof!
Already I’m singing God-songs;
I’m making music to God.

7-9 Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:
“Be good to me! Answer me!”
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,”
my whole being replied,
“I’m seeking him!”
Don’t hide from me now!

9-10 You’ve always been right there for me;
don’t turn your back on me now.
Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me;
you’ve always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me,
but God took me in.

11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
direct me along a well-lighted street;
show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs,
those liars who are out to get me,
filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
Stay with God.


sharpening the skills…

“Sharpened skills are an effective tool in the hand of God. He wants to use you to your full potential. Your activities and work will produce more lasting results when you take the time to hone your skills. God wants to use your life to cut through life’s issues like a sharp knife slicing through a juicy ripe tomato. Submitted skills fulfill His will.” Boyd Bailey

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

God expects us to do our best; to work ‘as unto the Lord’. So how do we do that?

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

Like-minded friends seem to be a key. Sharing what God is doing in your life – and being encouraged and held accountable.

The main tool to use for the sharpening is the Word of God. Memorizing and meditating on Scripture?

Here are a few questions to think about:
A. D0 I see my work as a gift from God?
B. Do I do my work as unto the Lord?
C. Am I showing excellence and diligence in my work?
D. What three work relationships need more time?
E. Do I view my work as a job or a calling?