December 15, 2019

Pastoral Nuggets: Stuff I Heard Somebody Else Say Along the Way

In his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” one of the habits Stephen Covey gives is this: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

What’s he saying? He’s saying that before we try to convince somebody else that we are right and they are wrong, just maybe, we need to understand their point of view first.

We need to learn to listen before we speak!

In other words, we need to discipline ourselves to engage our brain before we engage our mouth! Listening. What an amazing concept!

In fact, listening is so important that God designed us with two ears but only one mouth!

If you are a regular reader of my ramblings, you know that as I travel my lifepath, sometimes I like to share thoughts with you that have come my way.  Such is the case today. And as I share these various thoughts, I encourage you to listen:

  • “Holding someone accountable is not the same as attacking them.

  • You can be a good person, with a kind heart, and still say no.

  • A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect.  (Reread that one 8-10 times!)

  • You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.

  • “Ish” is a wish.  (Christian-ish. Husband or wife-ish.  Parent-ish. You get my point!)”

Thoughts from a pastor, who had just returned from a conference on worship and was addressing a group of pastors:

  • “The latest generation is returning to the centrality of the Word of God.  They are coming back to the simplicity of worship. They are turning off their amplifiers and lights!

  • The problem with many churches and pastors today is that they are trying to make Sodom and Gomorrah about the sin of: INHOSPITALITY!

  • Gothic cathedrals were purposely built to make the worshipper feel small.  I heard of a pastor in one of those cathedrals who set up an inflatable slide in the pulpit, slid halfway down and preached a sermon about how God wants us to have fun.

  • Jesus is attractive enough, and the Word is powerful enough!  Present it; stand on it, and let God work!”

I am facilitating a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Workshop. My final two offerings were inspired by him. They are powerful!

  • “Commonsense is so rare, if you possess it, it is like having a superpower!

  • The devil is better at selling his stuff than we are at not buying it!”

So, what is the point of the column today?  It’s simply this. None of us are smart enough to figure out all the answers to all of life’s problems.  We all need help. Therefore, we must learn to “borrow brains.” How do we do that? By learning to listen.

The answers to most of life’s problems are being articulated around us all day long, every day. This happens through other people, circumstances, and situations. God is still speaking. The problem is, that for whatever the reason, we’re not listening! And yes, listening is an art. Many hear, but few are listening. There is a huge difference in the two!

Just some stuff I heard somebody else say along the way!

Brother Aaron

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