What keeps you from hearing?

listening

I am deaf in one ear. The day it happened I suddenly got loud, EXTREMELY LOUD, ringing and intense pain in that ear and after a few minutes, the volume of ringing decreased somewhat and the pain stopped. But, other than the ringing I could hear nothing. They call it sudden sensorineural hearing loss. They tried several treatments to see if my hearing would return but it didn’t. Hearing aids didn’t help because, well, if you are really deaf then amplifying it doesn’t help. It’s just louder sounds that you still don’t hear. Eventually it was determined that I needed a cochlear implant and they went through all the insurance issues to get it approved. Finally after a couple denials it was approved and I had the surgery and now can hear in my previously deaf ear when I am wearing the processor. I have to say that it is not the same as my natural hearing but definitely better than nothing and it is a gift from God. I believe that He gives people the ability to find ways to cure some conditions or to improve some diseases so they are at least somewhat tolerable. I believe so very much and for that I am thankful. God uses people and technology to help us.

BUT, the issue that I face is that I still have the ringing, buzzing sound in my deaf ear. According to the surgeon the brain wants sounds and if for some reason our ears do not pick up the sounds around us the brain will create something. The ringing is, at times, annoying to say the least and at other times, near maddening. It makes it difficult to try to focus and concentrate. It also makes it difficult to hear more subtle sounds in that ear. Thank God, my hearing in the other ear is still good so I am able to hear well with it. Sometimes, with just one good ear, I hear too many sounds, my brain quit filtering the different conversations so I hear them all. When I go out to eat, I hear bits and pieces of everyone talking and all the clinking and clanking of silverware on the plates; that serves to make it harder to hear the conversation at the table. It distracts me terribly. So, between the loss of hearing and the new inability to filter extraneous sounds, I have more difficulty than I used to have when trying to hear someone tell me something important.

Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:          Ephesians 4:18

As I thought about my loss of hearing, I thought about how I have in the past lost my spiritual hearing. Life events resulted in me hardening my heart towards God and not listening to Him when He tried to speak to me. I didn’t hear when He would talk to me, I didn’t understand when He spoke because I allowed the ringing in my spiritual ears to drown out what He was trying to say. I became spiritually deaf and blind. I let life prevent me from knowing it was Him and allowed all the hurt, anger, bitterness, preoccupation with my career, concerns about other demands on my time, financial hardships and worries of life keep me from knowing what He wanted me to do. It doesn’t matter exactly what those distractions were, we all have our own distractions and worries that interfere with our ability to hear Christ clearly; we all allow life events and concerns to plug our ears and interfere with our seeing what He has planned for us.

7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

Hebrews 3:7-10

 

 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  Matthew 11:15

In addition to having the surgery with the implant to help my hearing, I had to retrain my ears and brain to hear properly again; I had to relearn how to filter out the conversations and sounds that were distractions so I could focus on the one important conversation. I am still working on that as my ears still get all the stimuli coming in and I often have extraneous noises that overwhelm me and keep me from hearing the really important things. I also still have the ringing that also interferes. But, those things are getting better, rather I am getting better about filtering out the things I don’t want or need to hear so I can receive the information I need. Much like my spiritual hearing where I am learning better to hear His still small voice and not let the buzzing of human existence and the noises the enemy creates distract me when I want and need to listen to Him. I am not fully where I want to be in that regard, maybe I will never be as good as it as I want, but definitely much improved. I strongly suspect I am not the only one that way, truly I think we are all that way to one extent or another.

So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17

 

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Matthew 13:13-15

 

I definitely need to hear Him better, to listen carefully and try harder to understand what He is saying to me.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:16-17

 

 

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.              Revelations 3:20

 

More than just hearing though, I need to learn to follow His instructions, do His bidding. Regardless of what my human nature says, in spite of the things the enemy tries to say to interfere with my ability to hear and willingness to obey Christ.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  James 1:22

 

I have to remind myself that if I listen and follow the instructions He gives me, He will lead me in the path He plans for me and when I do, He will bless me for doing so.

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

 

So, I shall strive to listen and to actually HEAR Him better, to take what He tells me to heart and do my best to follow His guidance, to learn to ignore the noises of life that interfere with my hearing Him, to block out the enemy’s taunts and attempts to distract me.

 

Lord,  Praise You and Your Son, Jesus, who died on the cross for my sins so I could have salvation. Thank You for helping me see my shortcomings and helping me to understand how I need to improve to better serve You. I pray in the name of Jesus that I learn to block out the things that interfere with my ability to see Your plans and hear You in my heart so I can do what I know You want me to do. Help me understand better Your will for me. Teach me to focus better on You, Your wishes for me and know when Satan is trying to work against me. Draw me closer that I can be the person You want me to be. Draw us all closer to You, help my loved ones know how to see and hear You in their lives that they may all come to know you and the magnificent blessings You hold in store for those who follow Christ. Help us all to be people who glorify You with our words and deeds.

Amen

 

I hope all have a wonderful day and are blessed as they go about their business. Please try to be a blessing to someone else today as well.

 

 

Hear the word!

John_5-24

 

Hearing is important for a lot of things, conversations, sermons, music, and in my job it is critical. I don’t mean just processing the sounds and words, but truly HEARING the intended message. Many more times than I wish I have heard the words, but not what the person saying them meant. That applies to both spoken and written word. In the context of this particular verse and the overall messages of Christ’s ministry and the Bible; hearing, COMPREHENDING and BELIEVING the truth of those messages is vital so one may have that life eternal that Jesus promises us. Many, many times I sat in church as a child and an adult, hearing the words but not truly understanding. Oh, I believed, but often as I read the Bible now, I find that I am better understanding what God wants to tell us and not just the superficial messages that are derived from a quick read and minimal thought. I also see now that we must not only understand and believe the true messages behind things, but we must incorporate the teachings into our daily life. I am working to be better at that, I am better at it than I was, but still have a long way to go. I praise Him for His patience and understanding as I work through scripture to learn what He is teaching me and LIVE what He is teaching me. Every day He makes me a better person, a better Christian and I am far from where He wants me to finally be in my Christian walk but I’ll get there, one step at a time.

Lord, I praise You for the message, mercy, forgiveness, redemption and salvation I have been given. I thank Jesus for His sacrifice on the cross, that He freely accepted the suffering He went through because of my sins. In the name of Jesus I pray that You continue to work in my heart to show me the true message You are trying to tell me, the real lesson You want me to learn and how to incorporate those lessons in my life. I pray You continue to work with me to show me Your plan for my life, help me learn to put myself aside so that I don’t seek what I want for myself, but what You want for me. Teach as all Your true plan and remove those things in our minds that cause us to not see your plans, remove the obstacles, selfishness and worldly mindset that clouds our judgement and teach us to see with the eyes of Christ. Draw us all closer to You and Your perfect plans. Bring my loved ones close to You and give them the desire to know You and seek Your forgiveness so they may have the salvation You offer.

 

Amen

I hope all are having a blessed weekend and that you are able to be a blessing to someone else as well.

 

 

The Detour

detour

I was on a road trip, traffic started backing up, road closed so detour. Now, I prefer to just get where I am going, but seeing as I didn’t have a choice, I took it. Ended up going to a secondary highway, much more scenic than the interstate and went through a couple small towns, stopped at an old fashioned general store for a couple minutes just because, well, it was an old fashioned general store. The detour made for a nice diversion after a long drive on the interstate. Eventually, the road took us back to the interstate and I finished my trip, lost a little time, but still got there fine. Another time, the detour was terrible, road had quite a few potholes, nothing special to be seen along the route and seemed to be a much more miserable drive than the one I had planned.

Sometimes, life has detours too. Some we create when we deviate from God’s plan for us. THOSE are the bad ones. Sometimes, other circumstances result in detours for us. I think on all the times I have had a plan, not God having a plan for me, ME having one. Other times, He has a plan, I am going with it trying to follow His will, but get anxious, start trying to get to the destination sooner, rather than later. Well, those go smoothly for a while, then a detour, I get back on track after a while, then, another detour. Some of those detours are rough, others, not too bad but still detours and delays.  And it goes, until I say, OK God, YOU plan the route and destination. I give Him the map, He plans the route and destination, like I said, sometimes same destination I had believed and knew it was where He was leading me, but I forced things too quickly so He decided to slow me down so I could get to where He wants, the way He wants and when He wants.

Yeah, the whole patience thing is not too easy for me sometimes. I want something, I want it now, then take a shortcut, that ends up being quite the opposite. Sorta like the Israelites in the wilderness.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

John 15:7

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalms 37:23

Yeah, that last one is the tough part for me. But, there was no shortage of scriptures talking about HIS plan for us, and not our own. Not only the destination, but the route. I will trust on Him to guide me and quit trying to be in a hurry.

Praise the name of the Lord, Dear Jesus, I thank you for my salvation and all the blessings, You have been far better to me than I deserve. I ask that you teach me patience and to trust in God that He has a plan and will be sure to get me to where He wants me to be in this life and in service to Him. I ask you work in the hearts and minds of loved ones to show them your way for them as well, give them the patience and understanding they need to let You control their paths as well. I ask You continue to work on my understanding and to make me the servant You plan for me to become.

 

Thanks for reading along today. I hope this helps someone else too! Like I have said before, try to be a blessing to at least one other person today.

 

 

 

Sometimes, my mom bought substitute cereal.

generic.png

My mom would sometimes buy generic foods because they were cheaper, and to be honest, some were good. HOWEVER, some, well, not so good. One time in particular I remember my brother and I liked Captain Crunch (yeah, I know, cuts up your mouth, but it was tasty) but it was more expensive than some of the other, well, knock off brands. So, she would try other “versions” store brands, etc and those….well, those just AINT THE SAME!

lt crunch.png

Yeah, aint it funny how substitutes are not the real thing. A lot of times people will buy or accept substitutes because of money or possibly convenience, knowing full well that isn’t what they wanted. They settle for less, for something to take the place of what they really wanted. Shoot, sometimes they even try to convince themselves that the substitute is as good or better, but deep inside, they know differently. Substituting one thing for another usually results in some disappointment, you expect Captain Crunch but you get Leiuten’t Crunch and, it aint the same. Consciously or not, one is always comparing the original to the generic, the substitution and it is just not the genuine thing. I have an implant for hearing, one ear just quit working, period, after months of several different treatments, still NOTHING, well, just loud ringing. Finally, insurance approved the implant and it was completed. I have had it for several months now and its better than the ringing, better than nothing, but no matter what, it is a replacement, a substitute. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to have it, so much better than what I was dealing with before it was placed but I compare how things sound in good ear and the implant and it is not the same. No matter what, original is better.

Even in the Old Testament the Israelites tried substitutes, the idols and false gods, and guess what, the idols did not do anything for them. They were not GOD. People accept substitutes for a variety of reasons, but are extremely rarely actually satisfied. When it came to the idol worship, those that did so had nothing but disappointment and heartache. Emptiness, from an inanimate object that could and would do nothing and punishment from God for their sins.

 

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3

 

So, remember, sometime, get the real deal. No substitutes for God. Don’t accept less than the real thing. We all deserve the real stuff, not a stand in or substitute.

And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty. Isaiah 3:24

Fake instead of real, replacement instead of the genuine thing. Never accept less than the real item. Never accept less than the real God.

Lord, I thank You for the thoughts and words You give me. The understanding I obtain. I pray You help me hold fast and not accept some substitute for what You have planned for me, not accept less than the genuine blessing You have in store for me. That I continue to work towards, with Your guidance, what You wish in my life. I pray that my loved ones be challenged by You to demand the real things in their lives as well and that You show them the life You have planned for them. I pray that You continue to help me become a better person, better Christian and a better example of Your impact on a man.

In Jesus Holy Name,

Amen

I appreciate the folks that read this and the people that are following my blog. I hope it blesses someone else as much as it does me to write it.

 

Hello God, it’s me. Am I listening?

earhorn

 

 

Sometimes, when I pray, I ask God for things. I have needs and wants. Some are for me, so rather selfish, some are for others so less so, but a lot of times, it is so I can have guidance in my life. I am, shall we say, going through a rough patch in life with various circumstances. A lot of indecision personally about which direction I should take. I am facing issues both personally and professionally that I do not feel are in my best interest,  like most all do at one point or another. I have opportunities in other places, some opportunities I had, but lost, but others have opened, there will be other options in the future. I try to decide in my feeble mind, what would He have me do. Sometimes, sadly, I don’t think enough about what is God’s plan for me and just try to decide for myself. Make a list of pros and cons, weigh the options one against the other and try to make a decision. Yet, I continue to be undecided. THEN, I decide it’s time to talk with God, pray about things. Look for some guidance from Him.

AND…….I wait to hear Him. Sometimes, I feel His presence and guidance, clarity of thought and mind. I see a very clear path that I believe is Christ showing me the way. Then, later, I get uncertain if, as I proceed that way and there are difficulties did I listen to Jesus? Now, I know life isn’t easy. Jesus makes the hard things easier, or bearable at any rate, but when I try to take the route in life I feel is from Him and things don’t go smoothly, I start to wonder, is it because I heard wrong, or because the enemy is trying to keep me from God’s plan in my life.  Then, of course, once that thought enters my mind, I start to feel some doubt as to which path is the path Jesus wishes me to take. I start getting nervous, uneasy, however you wish to state it, and sometimes, take a few steps back to try to re-evaluate the situation and choices. Still, after all that, I usually feel certain, yes, it is what Christ wants for me. THEN….more indecision and questions in my mind later. UGGGH, sometimes, it seems it would be so much easier if HE would just pick me up and put me in the place, job, etc that Christ wants. Yet, He wants us to seek Him, seek His presence, His heart so, I seek Him, wondering whether or not to just stay put for now, and wait. But, I always heard that the Lord helps those that help themselves, so obviously He wants me to be an active participant. Which way, which path, which is the best for me and more importantly, which is the path that is HIS plan for me.

SO, I wonder, GOD, am I listening?

So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, [and] apply thine heart to understanding; Proverbs 2:2

I try to hear Him, I really do try to understand. Sometimes, it seems He speaks quietly or, is it me not seeking Christ that causes the faint understanding of His will and plan?

Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? Job 28:20

That is what I seek, wisdom and understanding. Sometimes, I feel like Job, suffering this or that situation, not all the suffering of Job, but sure seems like it sometimes. Yet, despite all his hardships, Job had faith in God and continued to be a good man. I try to do that, sometimes I stumble, but I try to do right and remain faithful.

God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. Job 28:23

Yes, God does know and understand all, the path I should take, I just need to figure how to hear when He speaks to me and follow what Jesus is telling me.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Yup, I need to trust Him. Trust the guidance Christ gave me. Try to do His will in my life. Even more importantly, I need to just seek HIM! I have shown to myself that I haven’t always trusted Him with all my heart in various circumstances, trying instead to get my own wishes and not His wish for me. I believe I am doing better, and, yet again there are occasions that I stumble. Not as many as there were before, honestly not nearly as many as before, but they still occur. I still need to work on trusting Him and not myself.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

Why do I quote this so much? I know I have used it many times. Well, I think, other than words and promises for salvation He gives us that this is really a key thing I have to remember. KEEP MY PRIORITIES STRAIGHT! Seek HIM, SEEK Christ! The understanding and the hearing God will come. I just have to talk to Him more, open my heart and mind to Jesus so that I do understand and see His way for me. To receive His blessings for me, I must seek Christ.

Lord, I praise you and thank you for all that you are, the beginning, the end, the Creator of all. I thank you for the forgiveness you gave me and the mercies you show. I ask that you continue to help me keep my priorities in order, that you help me seek you first. I ask that with the current circumstances I am facing that you give me the understanding of your way in my life and your plan for me. I ask you talk to my heart so that I have peace with where you lead me. That I not interfere with your will in my life. Jesus, I ask you to work in the hearts of loved ones that they see and hear you as well, that they follow you and seek you first, then follow as you lead them. That you use me to show others your will and your way as I go about my day to day life and that you make me a better example of you in my life. Help me be better at seeking you first, trusting you, and following you. God, help me to hear you better and to remember to look to you for all.

 

Once more, I thank everyone for bearing with me as I ask myself questions, as I look to the scripture to find the instruction He gives. I just hope that I am able to incorporate all the wisdom He shows me into my life. I hope this blog reaches that one that may benefit from it as well.

Please, feel free to share this site with others if you feel it would help someone.

Have a blessed day.