God’s simple answers

  Great news! I am very close to having Rhema paid for this year.

This is all because of God’s faithfulness. 

Several months ago, God spoke to me in a time of prayer about paying attention to the opportunities right in front of my face. 

The wisdom of God is awesome. A lot of it is quite simple too. 

There was no angelic voice or writing in the sky. 

Pay attention. 

Look around. 

That’s all I heard and all I needed. 

Maybe it’s all you need too. 

I encourage you to see the hand and wisdom of God in the simple things. 

Don’t get flustered if it’s not shown in a grand gesture. The still, small voice is the primary way we are led by God. 

I am convinced now that the reason we miss God sometimes is because He didn’t use a megaphone. 

We wanted something cool like the story that one guy or gal told at church that one Sunday night. 

Why can’t you talk to me like that, God? 

We whine and our pitiful cries drown out His instruction.

Pray. 

Be quiet. 

Listen. 

Obey. 

Advertisements

Heart language matters

I saw the importance of communication today.

For many years, Mr. and Mrs. Lee have rented a storage unit whenever they move.

Mrs. Lee is deaf.

I remember the first time I met them, which was the first month I started working at Storage Depot (before I started learning sign language). My boss had to write back and forth with Mrs. Lee about pricing and unit sizes.

heart languageFast forward to now, 11 months into my learning sign language. I was able to interpret for Mrs. Lee and she came to life! She talked and talked! It was so cool to see the power of communication in action.

Knowing someone’s heart language is important, especially when you’re on the mission field.

Each of us was born with an innate desire to be known and understood. Language barriers are the biggest deterrents to connection.

I’ve received a TON of help from the deaf community because week after week I show up and try. Even when I completely mess up, my friends kindly and gently encourage me and teach me the right way. Who could guess that my bumbling efforts would be so well received? I certainly didn’t expect it!

For many of my deaf friends, though, their own parents never made an effort to learn sign language. One of my friend’s mom started learning sign once my friend was grown. As my friend shared the story with me, there were tears in her eyes.

“This is what I’ve always wanted.”

Heart language matters. If you want to make an impact learn a culture’s heart language.

And this is true of any culture–not just deaf culture.

So, for all of my friends who feel drawn to a certain country or culture, take this advice from someone who has seen the difference: Language is key.

Sometimes It’s Good to be Unplugged, Take II

If you read my last post, you know that I was given the opportunity to write for the Marion Times-Standard. Well, they asked me to write an editorial for the paper every week! The editor told me that he could not guarantee that my editorials would run in every edition–and it’s unpaid as of right now–but it’s a start! Also, I get to write about whatever I want, so that’s awesome as well. I sent in a picture and get this: The title of my column is the same as my blog. Isn’t that cool?

This post may sound familiar toward the end. It’s actually part of an older post combined with some fresh perspective. This is my first submission for the paper as a regular contributor. Please leave your comments below and suggest some things you would like to read about in the editorials.

_________________________________

Building relationships is hard work. I am starting to understand why people find it easier to park their cars in the garage and never speak to their neighbors. For one thing, there are a lot of awkward pauses and silences when you first get to know someone. It’s like a bad job interview that never really ends.

Once you get past the general questions—Married? Single? Have kids? If so, how many?—all that is left to do is stare at each other and scope out appearances. Well, he or she is clean and has good style, so they must be decent human beings…right?

I realize this example seems a bit extreme, but I know that I am speaking the truth. However, I am still hopeful that all is not lost. Not everyone lives in Mayberry, but developing meaningful relationships is possible whether you live in Marion or New York City.

The truth is that most people do not listen. It’s time to put down cell phones, to close laptops, to turn off televisions. Why not look someone in the eyes when carrying on a conversation? Then that person might, just might, be convinced that you are actually listening to them.

Technology is awesome, but I’m afraid that it is also ruining relationships. It’s so, so easy to be a lazy communicator when texting can get the job done just the same. When you opt out of social events to play video games or surf the web. When you like someone’s status on Facebook, but never talk to them in person.

Does anyone else see a problem?

Sometimes it’s good to be unplugged. It causes you to pay attention, to really listen. Don’t get me wrong. I love technology just as much as the next person, but technology CANNOT replace common courtesy, conversation, and personal relationships.