The Fine Art of Listening

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Yesterday  morning as I read through the various emails from lists I subscribe to, I noticed a trend. Out of eight different emails I read, five spoke on the subject of the fine art of listening, being still and shutting out the noise around us. You think God’s trying to tell me something? 🙂

And because I figure this was more than a coincidence, maybe God is trying to tell you something, too.

Below are excerpts with the link to the original posts. I hope you’ll take the time to go to the original posts, read and consider the full messages these authors wrote. Then join me in  developing the fine art of listening.

What if we stopped dialing up to be heard, and instead started listening again? Listening is an art. One that is getting lost in the noise. Getting lost among the technology, the text messages, the emails. Do people even know how to listen anymore? Finally, remember that we can only surrender to God’s plan if we are still and listen to his plan. Does that mean once a day? Or does that surrender occur 24/7? Tina Radcliffe 

We forget to look outside. We forget to take walks or just sit, listening to the bird sounds, to crickets at night, to the call of a loon, the hoot of an owl. We forget to stand in a drizzle and let it wash down our hair and over our face. We forget to let the sunrise welcome the day or the sunset ease us into night. Normandie Fischer 

Job waited for God’s answer—easier said than done. As believers, we can say with Job, I will wait for my renewal to come (Job 14:14). Whether considering tomorrow or eternity, God has us covered. Diana Derringer

David wrote more on waiting, and Psalm 40:1-3 gives us a vivid image of God’s care for those who wait on Him:

“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” (NIV)

Reading this passage makes me wonder how long David waited on the Lord. Or if David had a special ability for this very difficult virtue. But then I remember that David often learned things the hard way. Waiting on God was a skill David continued to develop throughout his lifetime.

I long to be still in God’s presence, not plotting or scheming or worrying or … you name it. Unfortunately, I often find myself doing the exact opposite.

Being still takes intentionality and a heart that’s trusting. I need to stop trying to rush God and remember: God is faithful. God is good. God loves me. God never leaves me. God is worthy to be praised. Kim Johnson

Friends, it’s time to stop listening to the lies. Time to close your ears to ignorant and hurtful comments, whether they come from outside or in. It’s time to turn to the TRUTH, to embrace it and immerse yourself in it. It’s time to remember Who gave you this task, and what HE has to say about you and your work. Come to the One True source of Truth, and let His words dwell within you to put an end to writer’s obstacle. Lies. Karen Ball 

And I would add, no matter what our task, we should listen to what our Creator God has to say about our work, and let his words put an end to whatever lies the opposition dumps on us.

Do any of these quotes resonate with you more than another?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. Matthew 13:12 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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A Plethora of New Year’s Advice

bing imagesBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

With all the New Year’s advice of what we need to do to ensure we enjoy a wonderful, life-fulfilling 2015…read this or that book…listen to this or that speaker…select one, and only one, Scripture verse as your verse for the year…select one, and only one, word as your word for the year…I can’t do it.

While I have nothing against the plethora of advice designed to enhance my life, (hey, I’m giving advice in this post, aren’t I?) the stubborn side of me comes out. I’m not one to go along with the crowd simply because it is trendy. I’ve only recently switched from a flip phone to a smartphone, for goodness sake. Trend-setter? Hardly.

There are a lot of books I’d like to read this year. Not all or them are for my personal or spiritual growth. Some are pure entertainment, like Wendelin Van Draanen’s Sammy Keyes mysteries for kids.

There are many worthy speakers out there, but not all of them speak to what’s going on in my life right now. If ever.

As far as choosing ONE verse of Scripture as mine for the year, sorry. Can’t/Won’t do that. I leave the door open each day for God to show me the verses he wants me to meditate on. I’m not going to limit my verse to one.

Now, about having one word…it’s pretty much the same thing as having one verse. Each day God shows me new things. New aspects of his character. New directions he wants me to go. One word? How could I possibly choose?

Today my word for the year is Grace. No, wait. Today it’s Redeemed. No, no, no. Today my word is Faith. No…

See? How can I possibly choose one word, or one verse, when there are so many wonderful words and verses to choose from in my relationship with the Creator God? The Father who cared enough for me…insignificant, weak, sinful me…allowed his perfect, sinless son to die a horrendous death on the cross at the hands of his creation, to pay the debt for my sin, which there is no way I could ever possibly pay on my own.

He did the same for you, too, you know.

So pick those books to read, speakers to listen to, or one word as your guide for 2015 if that’s what you feel led to do.

Bing imagesMe? I’m gonna’ read whatever strikes my fancy at any given time and try for a balance between fiction and non-fiction. I’ll pay attention to speakers, and pick and choose what I believe is meant for me, and leave the rest. I’ll continue to search God’s written word for the verses and words he put in the Bible for me to live by, and do my best to honor him.

If God’s mercies are new every morning, and they are, how can I limit myself to the same word for 365 days?

What’s your advice for this new year?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord‘s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope. Lamentations 3:21-24 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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