Monday, April 23, 2007

Hearing and Heeding ~ Part III (A Collage)

“For to draw near to hear and obey is better than to give the sacrifice of fools [carelessly, irreverently]. . . .”
~ Ecclesiastes 5:1 (Amp)

“To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge, to find the will of God is the greatest discovery, and to do the will of God is the greatest achievement.”
~Author Unknown

“Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from grace.”
~ Thomas à Kempis

“Be still, and in the quiet moments, listen to the voice of your heavenly Father. His words can renew your spirit. No one knows you and your needs like He does.” ~ Janet L. Weaver

“The trouble with nearly everybody who prays is that they say ‘Amen’ and run away before God has a chance to reply. Listening to God is far more important than giving Him your ideas.” ~ Frank Laubach

(This next story reminds me of a comment Keen’s sister Kihm made after returning from a recent trip to New York: “You can see the birds, you just can’t hear them.”)

The Cricket
Author Unknown

A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners and sirens were wailing; the sounds of the city were almost deafening. Suddenly, the Native American said, "I hear a cricket."

His friend said, "What? You must be crazy. You couldn't possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!"

"No, I'm sure of it," the Native American said, "I heard a cricket."

The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket.

His friend was utterly amazed. "That's incredible – you must have superhuman ears!"

"No," said the Native American. "My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you're listening for."

"But that can't be!" said the friend. "I could never hear a cricket in this noise."

"Yes, it's true," came the reply. "It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you."

He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.

"See what I mean?"


“The voices of the world are loud and sparse, but the voice of God is a constant whisper.”
~ Benjamin J. Elger

“The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.”
~George Elliot

“And beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us – if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us – we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God.”
~ I John 3:21 (Amp)
“And it is the (Holy) Spirit Who bears witness, because the (Holy) Spirit is the Truth.” ~ I John 5:7

“Why do you call Me Lord, Lord and do not practice what I tell you? For every one who comes to Me and listens to My words (in order to heed their teaching) and does them, I will show you what he is like; He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built – founded on a rock.”
~ Luke 6:46-48

“Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.” ~ Psalm. 51:6

“For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin – that is, whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful.”
~ Romans 14:23b

“I am the good Shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. . . My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me . . . .” ~ John 10:14, 27 (NKJV)

“At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at [His] command they journeyed; they kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.”
~ Numbers 9:23

“It is a vain thought to flee from the work that God appoints us, for the sake of finding a greater blessing, instead of seeking it where alone it is to be found - in loving obedience.” ~ George Eliot

Listening To God
By Connie Campbell Bratcher (used by permission)

Sometimes we talk too much
To hear what God would say.
Other times we're preoccupied
With activities of the day.
Oh, how we need to just be quiet,
And listen with our hearts
To what the Holy Spirit speaks-
The truth that He imparts.
He speaks to us through nature,
Where we see His mighty hand.
He speaks through our circumstances,
And through our fellowman.
Through a still small voice within,
We hear what He would say,
As we look to Him for guidance,
Along our pilgrim way.
But, we need to always examine
That which we have heard,
Making sure it's in accordance
With His Holy Written Word-
For God never directs contrary
To what is written there.
The law He gave so long ago
Still applies to all everywhere.
Father, thank You that as we listen,
Your Spirit leads us right,
Impressing the message on our Hearts
That's written in black and white.

Connie Campbell Bratcher

"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success."
~ Joshua 1:8
Many thanks to Connie Bratcher for permission to share her poem. You may read more of Connie’s poems at

“…and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice.”
~ I Kings 19:12