Thursday, February 23, 2012

Movie Wisdom

Awhile back, Jack and I watched the movie, “Facing the Giants,” and I was struck by two things. 

The first was the story the coach told about two farmers.  There was a drought and both farmers prayed for rain, but only one of them went out to prepare his field for the rain.

How often is our faith in God’s answer to our prayers like that of the farmer who only prayed but did nothing to show his belief that the rain would come?

I will never forget Dodie Osteen’s testimony, how after she asked her husband, John, to “get rid of this cancer,” he prayed and then helped her up to go make his breakfast!  She was at death’s door, sent home to die, but she refused to act like it.  Now, several decades later she is still going strong for Jesus!

The second was a scene in which the coach makes his star player do a "death crawl” an exercise where the boy is made to crawl down the field on hands and feet, while carrying another boy on his back.  The boy told the coach that he thought that he could do thirty yards but not with anyone on his back.  The coach then blindfolded him and had the kid do the crawl, saying give me fifty!  The coach then urged him on over and over saying don't quit on me!  Give me all you got!  When the boy finally collapsed, he was in the end zone!

As I think about those two illustrations and about my life goals, I am reminded of the truth that I must live my life flat out _ as if what I desire, what I have asked God for, is definitely on its way; working as hard as I can when the answer tarries as I do when I see it.  I want to be remembered as the most joy-filled, faith-filled, loving follower of Jesus Christ; a person who made a difference in others’ lives for eternity.

As we walk in faith, let us rejoice; overcome evil with good; sow kindness, love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, mercy, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control.  And be blessed, for our Father has given us the keys to the Kingdom of God!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Is Anybody Out There Listening?

Proverbs 18:2
A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.
Years ago, one of the desires of my heart was to learn to be a really good listener.  It is not an easy task.  We in our humanness  have a desire to be known, to share our heart, our thoughts and opinions about the particular topic at hand. 

Have you ever been with people in a conversation and not been able to get a word in edgewise?  How does it make you feel? 

It makes me feel invisible, discounted, unloved.

I wanted to become a good listener because of those bad feelings I experienced by not being listened to myself.  But today, as I was reading this proverb, the word fool jumped out at me.  I hear the heart of my Father telling me that unless I truly delight to understand my brother or sister's heart in my listening, I am a fool.

To be a fool is a terrible thing.  To be a fool does not just mean your are doltish or stupid or idiotic, but it is used of one who mocks God.

Wow.  I have really been given a depth of desire to be an even better listener.  Abba Daddy is showing me that when we do not listen to another, to have an understanding of them, of their heart, of their desires, we are actually mocking our maker.  When we discount our brother, we are discounting the One who made them.

Today, I want to listen more than I speak.  Who is with me?

Blessings, Anna Marie