Listening Times

The temp was at zero
      as far as I know.
But the wind, it was blowing,
      felt like twenty below.
I bundled in layers
      to clear off the walk.
And as I was shoveling
      I let God’s Spirit talk.
There were no distractions,
      no one else was there.
It was great God and me time
      and I felt His great care.

There’s times we don’t feel like
      the things we must do.
At least that is me,
      I don’t know about you.
In all of those moments
      I do have a choice.
I can spend the time grumbling
      or hearing God’s voice.
The day goes much better
      if I stop to hear.
God’s calming message
      that He is always near.

I pray that you listen
      to the words of this poem.
That you listen to God
      both at work and at home.
And as you are hearing
      what God wants to say.
All things are different
      when God leads the way.
So whatever you’re doing,
      whether happy or not.
Let God walk right with you
      He’s there on the spot!
©

While it was bitterly cold as I cleared walks this morning, it was a good listening time as I opened my heart and mind to God.  In doing so, He put this poem in my mind so I could share it when I came in.  . . . Now to find that hot tub.   I pray that you continually grow in listening to God in any and all circumstances.

In prayer,
Tom

Listen!

Like it or not
      we need to find.
Inside of our head,
      somewhere in our mind.
Something that’s missing,
      something that’s rare.
To open our ears
     and show that we care.
Everyone seems to
      have something to say.
No one is listening,
      we just go our own way.

Lazy or careless,
      either could be.
I can’t seem to help it
      if no one hears me.
So many people
      trying to be heard.
Today there’s no chance
      to get in a word.
Even more sad
      is this little news.
No one hears God
      when they do what they choose.

Listen intently
      to this little poem.
In hope you’ll be ready
      when it’s time to go home.
Search deep within you
      for what you must do.
To listen to Jesus
      when He calls for you.
Eagerly seek Him
      with all that you are.
Notice He’s waiting,
      He’s close and not far.
©

Here’s another poem for what it is worth.  Once the idea of it sparks in my mind, the poem falls out of my head so quickly that it is often hard to keep up.

2 Samuel: Lesson 18 — Is It Worth It?

The following are discussion questions from a weekly study I am leading through the book of 2 Samuel.  We meet each Wednesday evening at the Deer Run Church of Christ.

A Man After God’s Own Heart:
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A Study of the Book of 2 Samuel

Lesson 18 (Is It Worth It?)
2 Samuel 18
January 23, 2013

The Text:

  1. What did David do with his troops?  What did he intend to do?  What concern/advice did his men have?  How did David respond?  What was David’s final order as the men left?
  2. How did the battle go?  Who/what was responsible for the greatest number of casualties?  What happened to Absalom when he met David’s men?  How did Joab respond to the man who had seen Absalom in his predicament?  How does this man respond to Joab?
  3. What did Joab do?  Who helped?  What was done with Absalom?  How did this impact the people of Israel?  What had been Absalom’s concern during his lifetime?
  4. Who volunteers to deliver news to David?  How does Joab respond?  Who does Joab choose instead?  Did this satisfy the first request?  What did he do?
  5. What did David think as the first messenger approached?  Why?  What reputation did Ahimaaz have?  What report did he give?  Was it complete?  How did the Cushite respond when David asked about Absalom?  How did David take the news?

The Application:

  1. When are some times you need to trust your resources, or something you control, to the oversight of others?  How hard is it to actually let someone else lead?  Are there times that you might draw unnecessary attention so entrusting someone else is more productive?
  2. Are there times in your life that you feel the spiritual battle around you, and affecting you, is going well?  Who is responsible for the greatest victories in your life?  Who would you tell if you see something you don’t know what to do about?  Are there things that you are convince aren’t worth it no matter who asks you to do them?
  3. Do you ever approach a situation with your own agenda even when you know God has specific instructions in regard to it?  Why do we do this?  How important is leaving a legacy to you?
  4. What type of news would you be eager to deliver to someone?  Why?  How persistent would you be?  Are there times you would send a “stranger” to deliver news?  Why?
  5. What are some signs that would make you think a person is bringing good news?  . . . Bad news?  If someone saw you coming with a message for them, would they assume it is good news or bad news?  Is there a good or proper way to deliver bad news?  How do you respond to bad news?

 

Next Week: Everyone Loves a Victor
2 Samuel 19

2 Samuel: Lesson 17 — Conflicting Advice

The following are discussion questions from a weekly study I am leading through the book of 2 Samuel.  We meet each Wednesday evening at the Deer Run Church of Christ.

A Man After God’s Own Heart:
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A Study of the Book of 2 Samuel

Lesson 17 (Conflicting Advice)
2 Samuel 17
January 16, 2013

The Text:

  1. What advice does Ahithophel give Absalom?  How is that advice received?  Why does Absalom summon Hushai?
  2. What does Hushai tell Absalom about David?  . . . About Absalom’s men?  What advice does Hushai give?  How is that advice received?  Why?
  3. What message does Hushai have sent to David?  Who did he entrust the message to?  How was it delivered?  What did David do when he received the message?
  4. How did Ahithophel react when he realized his advice was not being taken?  What did he do?
  5. Where did David go?  What was brought to him?  Who brought it?  Why?

The Application:

  1. Who do you go to for advice?  What makes them a good source for advice?  Do you often look for “second opinions” even when the first makes sense to you?
  2. Is it possible to tell the truth in “non-truthful” or deceptive ways?  How?  When you are given two opinions, how do you decide which one is more reliable or useful?
  3. What could be some advantages of hearing “worst case scenarios”?  Disadvantages?  How quick are you to respond to reliable warnings?  Do people view you as reliable in a way that your warning them about the danger of life outside of Christ causes them to act?
  4. Have you ever been given good advice that was ignored?  How does that make you feel?  How can you keep from being discouraged when you know the right thing to do and no one else will accept it?
  5. Where do you go when you’re in trouble?  Why?  Do you have people who would notice your needs and help meet them?  Do you pay attention to the real needs of others so that you can help them?

Next Week: Is It Worth It?
2 Samuel 18

2 Samuel: Lesson 16 — Is That Really So?

The following are discussion questions from a weekly study I am leading through the book of 2 Samuel.  We meet each Wednesday evening at the Deer Run Church of Christ.

A Man After God’s Own Heart:
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A Study of the Book of 2 Samuel

Lesson 16 (Is That Really So?)
2 Samuel 16
January 9, 2013

The Text:

  1. As David fled Jerusalem, who came to meet him?  What did he bring?  What did he say they were for?
  2. What question does David have for Ziba?  What response does he give?  How does David respond?
  3. Who else comes to meet David?  What does he do?  Why?  What does Abishai want to do about it?
  4. How does David respond to Abishai?  How does David compare what is happening with what his son is doing?  What was David’s hope?
  5. Who comes to see Absalom?  How does Absalom respond to him?  What is his reply/reasoning back to Absalom?  What advice does Ahithophel give Absalom?  Why?

The Application:

  1. What do you think of the old phrase, “never look a gift  horse in the mouth”?  Is that good advice?  Why/Why not?
  2. Do you question things that don’t make sense?  Is it easy to believe things that seem to make sense?  Have you ever made a bad decision/judgment based on information that sounded right, but really wasn’t?
  3. Have you ever been spoken badly about because of your past or because of who formerly did what you are doing?  Have you ever spoken badly about someone because of their past or your relationship with a person they “took over” for?  How do you react to criticism?
  4. How tempting is it to involve others in dealing with criticism directed at you that they are not really a part of?  How often do you look for elements of truth in criticism?  What makes it easy/hard to do so?
  5. Do you often “change sides” with issues or people?  How confident are you of people who seem to often “change sides”?  Who does your loyalty belong to?  How likely are you to follow bad advice if it appears it will serve to offend your enemy?  What if that advice came from someone who everyone believed had a direct connection with God?

Next Week: Conflicting Advice
2 Samuel 17

2 Samuel: Lesson 15 — I Can Be King!

The following are discussion questions from a weekly study I am leading through the book of 2 Samuel.  We meet each Wednesday evening at the Deer Run Church of Christ.

A Man After God’s Own Heart:
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A Study of the Book of 2 Samuel

Lesson 15 (I Can Be King!)
2 Samuel 15
December 19, 2012

The Text:

  1. What is it that Absalom did with his renewed favor with the king?  Where would he start his day?  Who would typically be coming into town?  How would Absalom greet them?  What did he say about the chances of them being heard by the king?
  2. After planting in the people’s mind that there was no one to listen to them, what does Absalom suggest?  How would he treat those who wanted to show him respect?  What effect did this have on the people of Israel?
  3. How long did Absalom act in this manner?  What request did he have of David?  What did he state he wanted to do?  What did he do instead?
  4. What message was brought to David?  How did  he respond?  Who went with him?  Who were the Gittites?  What did David suggest they do?  What did they do instead?
  5. What reaction did the people have as David and those with him passed by?  What did David have done with the ark of God after they had left the city?  What was David’s prayer concerning the counsel Absalom would receive?  Who was Hushai and what did David have him do?

The Application:

  1. Is enough ever enough?  What makes it easier/more difficult to be satisfied?  Has anyone ever tried to discredit you to make themselves appear better or more appealing?  Have you tried that?  How should you respond when people do that?
  2. Do you ever act like you have all the answers or could solve all problems if given the opportunity?  Why is flattery so deceitful yet so effective?
  3. Do you ever make a request in a way that you know will be received positively when you really have a different purpose and motive behind the request than what you let on?  Why is manipulation so damaging?
  4. How hard is it to flee a situation even when you know the consequences of staying will be harmful to you and others?  Are there people who would stand with you no matter what?  Are there people you would stand with no matter what?  Why?
  5. How hard is it to do what needs done when doing so causes sadness in others?  How hard is it to leave the “making right” in God’s hands?  Are there ways He wants you involved?

Next Week: Is That Really So?
2 Samuel 16