July 2020 week 3

Friday July 17th

Acquire Great Listening Skills

James 1:19

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

It is said that we have 2 ears and 1 mouth thus we should listen twice as much as we speak.  How many of us adhere to this proverb.  A friend noted the interesting fact that silent and listen include the same letters. It is so important that in today’s society many of us are taught that we must speak out to defend ourselves and we are not taught to be still and listen and learn.  I had a teacher that said “put your mind in gear before you put your mouth in motion”, I recommend that one of the best listening tecniques is to repeat what you think you heard and let the person either confirm or clarify what you think you heard. Another idea is to try and not guess what someone is going to say as if youhad heard it before.  I also wonder if we would be better off saying shorter prayers and listening longer for God’s response.

Thought for the day.   Just because you are talking louder does not mean that I am listening louder

Seeking Wisdom

Proverbs 1:1

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;

Communicating is not something that comes naturally but must be learned. Most of us spend a great deal of time learning how to communicate and for most this means how to talk. Parents are excited when their babies can talk and say momma or daddy however we spend precious little time enjoying babies learning to listen as if it is natural and expected. The above verse begins with gaining wisdom and instructions.  Neither of these are learned by talking. They are learned by listening and many of us never really understand how to listen because we are too busy talking.  When you are in a discussion, do you take the time to really listen to what the other person is saying or are you busy trying to think of your next point to prove that you are right and the other person is wrong?  The true sign of wisdom is learning how much we really do not know and we gain that knowledge by listening intently and really trying to understand why the person is saying what they are saying..

Thought for the day.  There is a big difference between hearing and listening.  Hearing for most comes naturally but listening for most is an acquired skill. On a scale of 1 to10 how do you score your listening skills.

Wednesday July 15th

Are You Kind?

1 Corinthians 13: 4

Love is patient, love is kind…..

We have often seen or heard this defintion of love often at weddings or during a sermon on the topic of love.  However do we really ask ourselves the questiom “am  I really kind?” I suggest that we each take the time to look at our busy day to really judge If we are kind and demonstrate true love for others or are we so busy that we have become numb to real kindness.  Can you  actually remember even 5  circumstances where you wer e intentionally kind to someone yesterday.  When thinking of non-friends when were you intentionally kind to  a complete stranger?  How different the worl d would be if we as “christians” actively reached out in kindness to others. I challenge you today to begin the habit of being kind to others regardless of theit actions toward you,

Thought for the day:  Kindness cost nothing but the investment in kindness has rich dividends,

Tuesday July 14th

Mind to Work

Nehemiah 4: 6

 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work

There is a saying that if you want something done then find a busy man to do it  There is a reason why people who are not working  cannot be asked to do something that is important. Too often we find people who have all kind of reasons why they are not working.  While it is true than some have physical or mental problems that will keep them from being employed, many have made excuses that appear to be real but are not real at all but simply excuses. It is the same for children who have come up with a multitude of reasons as to why they did not do their homework or the old excuse that the dog ate my homework. One of the keys of success is to work hard and have a mind for working. Many businesses have succeeded not because of more resources or luck but the success can be tied directly to not allowing the competition to outwork them. It is ok to be the first to get up and the last to go to bed. Neyer let someone outwork  you.

Thought for the day….  The willingness to work is the great equalizer

Monday  July 13, 2020

Fresh Start

Philippians 3:13-14

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

While the calendar may say Sunday is the first day of the week, for many Monday is the first day of the week because we see it as a fresh start to the week. How many times have we decided that this week will be different than last week and we vow to make a change?  We vow to change but nothing changes. We always say that I will start tomorrow but we continually put off making the necessary changes and more often then not the reason is simply that we are creatures of habit. To break our old habits we must make new habits. Inorder to make new habits it is suggested that we do a particular action for 21 days for it to become a habit. However the key is not the 21st day but the first day.  The first day is today not tomorrow.

Thought for the day:  Yesterday is gone and tomorrow will never come.