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Today’s Truth

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

(2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

Friend to Friend
I am such a mess. I hate how I am. I can’t ever get a handle on this issue.


Thoughts of self-hatred coursed through my mind as I sat on the hard-tile floor and took it all in. . . Within the cabinets I’d just spent twenty minutes rearranging, there still was no semblance of organization. Papers shot out of books. Bags heaped left and right in no particular order. Shoes and knick-knacks filled the right side of the cabinet. And, worst of all, electrical cords stood like tumbleweed in the center of it all.


Regarding cleaning and organizing, my best efforts fell – way short. And this is the problem. You see, no matter what I do, everything

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Today’s Truth

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19, NLT).

Friend to Friend


We are continuing to learn about how to listen – specifically, about how to be quick to listen. I have learned three practices that help me be quick to listen, and help me to listen to others like Jesus listens to me:



Listen for pain.
Listen for need.
Listen for dreams.

Nothing encourages someone like listening to and encouraging their dreams. Dan Southerland could encourage dirt! Seriously! I once told him, “Honestly, I think you could find something good in Satan. He thought for a minute and then said, “Well, he is consistent.”


Years ago, I learned a great definition of the word “encourage.” To “encourage” means to “put courage in someone.” That definition of “encourage” is literally found in the history books.


From

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Today’s Truth

“Let no foul or polluting language…[ever] come out of your mouth.” (Ephesians 4:29 AMPC)

Friend to Friend


Remember when that 1,200 miles of Alaskan shoreline was covered with black slimy crude oil by the Exxon Valdez oil spill? Eleven million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Prince William Sound and disrupted the ecological balance of nature. More than 1,000 bodies of once-bustling sea otters were littering the coast, and more than 100,000 grounded birds were gasping for air. Many of its most beautiful inhabitants, including 150 bald eagles, were killed. The once glacier-fed waters teeming with life became an oily death trap.


Just as toxins in nuclear waste facilities, city dumps, and industrial accidents wreak havoc on the environment, toxic words cause destruction to the hearts and souls of the people. Paul wrote, “Let no

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Today’s Truth

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19, NLT). Let your compassion quickly meet our needs, for we are on the brink of despair. (Psalm 79:8, NLT) Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NLT).

Friend to Friend


We are continuing our commitment to become a better listener. Most of us are naturally slow to listen and quick to speak. As a result, learning to be quick to listen and slow to speak is no small thing. It takes time. It takes commitment. And it takes practice.


We have already looked at learning to listen for pain. Today we look at learning to listen for need.


Psalm 79 tells us that when we are in despair, God quickly listens to and meets our needs. That is the point of listening for need – to identify and, if we can, minister to the needs of those we love. To listen like God listens means we must learn to listen

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Today’s Truth

The Lord is with me; He is my helper.”

(Psalm 118:7)

Friend to Friend


I’m not sure enough can be said about the goodness of God’s love. The psalmist celebrates it time and again in both Psalm 117 and 118. “For great is his love towards us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.” (Psalm 117:2)


The more we know the depth of God’s love, the more courage we have to rise up in times of trial, confident in His faithfulness and strength. “In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.” (Psalm

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Today’s Truth

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger James 1:19 (NLT) You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.”

Psalm 10:17

Friend to Friend


If you are a social media user, you know about black out Tuesday. It occurred on June 2, 2020.


Millions of Americans refused to post on social media that day. And chose instead to spend the day listening


Listening matters! Why? Because nobody believes you love them until you first listen to them.


We all know the consequences of driving too fast or too slowly. Both can be dangerous. I have never been accused of driving too slowly. (I don’t drive fast. I drive quickly.) But I often find myself listening too slow.


James 1:19 gives us great direction about the speed of listening. It tells us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. My problem is

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Today’s Truth

“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”.

(Philippians 4:8 NIV)

Friend to Friend


Have you ever been to a rodeo and watched a lassoing contest? The little calf bursts from the stall, and then the cowboy and his steed follow in close pursuit. With his lasso in hand, the cowboy swings the rope in the air and attempts to catch the little heifer before she escapes out the corral door at the opposite side of the arena. That is a vivid picture of what we need do with the words that attempt to escape the gate (the mouth). We need to lasso them with the word of truth and rein them in. Throw them down in the dirt and tie them up if necessary.


The Bible teaches us to take every thought

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Today’s Truth

“Always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily, because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants.”

James 1:19-20

Friend to Friend


Every person you know is looking for someone who cares enough to listen. You have heard the saying that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. The truth is that every relationship begins with listening. 


Listening is hard work and something we are not prone to do. I hate to admit it, but I tend to use listening time as time to prepare the brilliant things I am going to say when that person stops talking. Not exactly the loving heart of Jesus, is it?


During these very uncertain times of economic disaster, a global pandemic, and racial tension we can diffuse situations by simply listening.


The woman who has lost her job needs

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Today’s Truth

We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

(Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

Friend to Friend


I walk through the door of a room that smells of earth and dirt. The table is rectangular, surrounded by a rainbow of small chairs. My daughter and I are decades ahead of our fellow participants in this clay class. The others are pig-tailed and freckled, dark-headed and clad in neon tennis shoes. “Did you know it would be like this?” she asks. “Nope,” I reply. We grin.


I signed up for this class as part of my resolution to be a tourist in my hometown years ago, long before Covid-19 and social distancing. I wanted to do things I never had before. I’d pictured fellow adults around me, a serious and substantial exercise. Instead, it’s like art class

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Today’s Truth

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

(Psalm 133:1)

Friend to Friend


I’ve got lots of opinions, not gonna lie. You do too, right? I’ll go even one step further by assuming that your opinions and my opinions are not perfectly in sync. Agreed?


Differences of opinion among people are more numerous than grains of sand in the ocean. Disputable matters in the church are no exception. Freedoms and convictions are not the same in every heart. Unfortunately, these areas of contention can cause conflict in our hearts, relationships, and communities of faith if we let them.


My family and I got thrown into a situation once that caused some harm and confusion. The perception and convictions of another was pressed upon us, and the consequences were anything but peaceful. Much of

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8