In order to hear what people are saying to us we must learn to listen.

As this is true in the physical realm, it is also true in the Spiritual realm. Ken Gire writes "Before we can hear God speaking through the everyday moments of our lives, our heart has to be prepared to listen." "Which is more art than science. At least it has been that way for me." "Reflections on Your Life Journal."

Gire also outlines three things that involved in preparing our hearts for listening:

1. There must be a sense of anticipation that God wants to speaks to us and that He will speak. This anticipation comes from the knowledge  that God is love and that it is the nature of love to express itself. Love can be expressed through words, through pictures or gestures or a variety of other ways, very subtle ways that only the beloved might recognize. That is the nature of intimate communication. It is clear to the beloved but often cryptic to everyone else.

2. There must be a humility of heart, for where we are willing to look and what we are willing to hear will largely determine how many of those moments we will catch. This picture of the heart stems from a belief that Words from God characteristically come swaddled in the most lowly of appearance, and that if we're not willing to stoop, we'll likely miss God among the stench of the stable and the sweetness of the straw.

3. There must be a responsiveness to what is heard. A willingness to follow where we are being led, wherever that may be. A readiness to admit where we are wrong and go align ourselves with what is right and good and true. An eagerness to enter into the joy of the moment. Or into the sorrow of the moment., if that's the case. It is this responsiveness of the heart that makes us susceptible to the grace of the moment. And it is what prepares us to receive whatever grace is offered to us in the text.  Ephesisans 5:1-2 says, "Go near to listen...Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

In His Service,

David Dean

"This is the day the Lord has made."