Pobody’s Nerfect, Again

Pobody’s Nerfect, Again

Through the years, and I’m not sure where or when, I’ve enjoyed the play on words where you swap the beginning letters of two words and use them as if they are meant to be said that way.

My contribution to this has been “Bappy Hirthday” for over 20 years. First, I spoke it, then emailed it, and now it’s what I say in social media… Some snappy people will reply, “Yhank Tou”…

Cool responses! I think we could keep it going for a while!

Back in my days of single digits, I remember the first time something like this popped up…my granddad was working on something and he muttered, “This is a mell of a hess!” I know I must have gasped, but his hearing issues probably kept him from hearing and responding. But it stuck with me. “Mell of a Hess!”

But Pobody’s Nerfect! Where did that come from? According to the Urban Dictionary:

A conciliatory way of saying, “nobody’s perfect” that illustrates the concept. Originated with Cracked and Mad Magazine in the 70’s. The lines would go along like this: “I’m sorry, that was dumb. That’s OK, pobody’s nerfect….”

Okay… I confess. I remember liking Mad Magazine, but I’m not sure what “Cracked” was, or is…

This popped into my mind Monday morning at the doctor’s office while waiting for my wife to come out so we could head home. All around me were people not at their best. It was early morning, so I’m sure some had awaken and simply showed up in the PJ’s. Others looked like their best grooming day was at least a week ago. And some were hobbling, or being pushed along in wheel chairs. There was a lot of pain and suffering surrounding me, and I know I’m not perfect by any stretch of the matter… But I sure felt like I was in a better place than they were.

And it got me to thinking.

I realized how imperfect we all are. If someone from Hollywood had shown up I’m sure they would look as glamorous as you would expect them to be, after all, their fans may be in the atrium. A politician would look like they were about to glad hand their supporters.

But the rest of us? We’re so far from the lime light that when we are not at our best, we are es tactic with our “lost in the crowd” mentality. Why? There are times we do not want to be perfect. Times we are hurting, sad, hurt, or fearing the worst. We don’t need our Gucci’s, Hermes or Louis Vuitton… We are happy with flip flips, baggy clothes, and unkempt hair…

Why? Pobody’s Nerfect! And we are often happy with not being overly perfect.

I know of no one perfect, but, we should all strive to be more perfect than we were when we woke up this morning! It’s a great way to live… Keep striving!

How do we get perfect? Some would say we should dress better, and I would ask you about your personality! If we think it’s revolving around our clothes then we are missing the concept of what perfect is all about.

Perfect means: “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be, absolute, complete”…

Notice… Desired or Required… Elements. Qualities. Characteristics… Says nothing about clothes! Or car. Or house. Or career.

There’s something missing from our equation if we do not look within and define our character first! It’s that internal piece, without which, none of the external matters one iota. It’s like that favorite Gaither kid’s song I love to sing:  “From the inside out, God’s looking at me. From the inside out, I hope he likes what he sees. From the outside I might not look so good, but you might change your mind if only you could…see me from the inside out!” Do you know it? Are you humming it? Listen here===>>>> [Source]  In fact you an hear most of the album on YouTube at the same location… I’m listening now…

What’s the foundation of our character? Or, at least, what should the foundation contain? The Apostle Paul tells us what that foundation is…

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (Colossians 3:14 NKJV)

Before you worry about anything else, first, put on love. The King James calls it “Charity” and we often think that’s what we donate to others. But the word is only found in the Greek and is only found in these New Testament writings. Agape is how we would say it, and it essentially means “love, affection, benevolence” and comes from the root word Agapao which means to “love much in a moral or social sense”.

To love much. In a moral or social way, love with great affection and benevolence.

This should be our foundation. In fact, Paul explains it deeper in the “love” chapter of his letter to the church in Corinth.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV)

The greatest of anything he could describe of our foundation is not Faith, or Hope. It is Love.

It does not mean loving only those who are easy to love, but also loving those who are the most difficult to love. You do not get a choice. You must love equally to every person. Regardless of who, or what, they are. When we start letting our characterizations choose who to love, then we are simply imperfect.

And Nobody wants to be Pobody… Nor do they want to me Nerfect…least of all, imperfect…

 

These Past 13 Years

These past 13 years…

We have just passed celebrating 13 years of our church plant in Lacey. No celebration service, or special mentions. During the same time, it’s been one of the most unique experiences of life. Perhaps it’s simply the times we are living in, but it has also been those years as you approach your 50’s, 60’s, and gasp! 62…. That’s the age you can start drawing social security! If you want…

But also, as you get closer to your aged years it seems there all kinds of opportunities to hang out in medical facilities. You know, you seem to become connected to doctors, hospitals, procedure rooms, laboratories, and all kinds of waiting rooms. You hear all the whispered intimate details of someone’s issues, and you just sense the germs, disease and fear floating on the air puffs of everyday breath, and from every air conditioning vent. Lurking in every dark corner, and spoken about behind closed doors, is the truth many do not want to hear.

For some, it is almost as bad as airplane air! Recycled, unfiltered, and full of every exhaled breath of germs, smells, and particulates. Enclosed. No way to escape it. 

If you are a germ-aphobe, stay away! If you fight the fear of disease and sickness – stay home!

But, if you have a deeply held internal view that you have a purpose and ministry, then, as a pastor, and as a family man, you embrace the privilege of being with others going through the stresses of life. And hoping that some will be there for you when you face similar times.

Just as yesterday was my time to spend with my wife in a procedure and waiting area, I realize how many people come in, and leave, depending upon a significant other that holds their hands through the tough times. Up and down the atrium, cardiologist, labs, sleep centers, gastro centers, and who knows what else was being dealt with by people facing their fears head on.

Documents are being signed to indicate wishes should there be a problem. With no deeper thought than the minute, loads are being shifted from one person to another.

And the money spent in that building those early morning hours. How much did it cost every single one of us to face and fight the ailments we all fear. Out of pocket, our experience cost us 3 times what it did 5 years ago. The medical system is drowning its’ users with fear of how to pay for all the ways to keep us alive and healthy.

Well. Let me stop this rambling before I go down paths I’m not interested in writing about!

13… I was born on the the 13th. Some feel it’s an unlucky number, but for me it represents life! These past 13 years have been good to me. I feel the weight of elder decisions based upon my past, but at the same time I enjoy the opportunity of experiences yet to come. I keep wanting to make better choices, and I’m working on some things that will be a visible witness, at the same time, there will be some internal choices you will never grasp…as well as some eternal choices I hope will be celebrated at some future time.

Do not wait until life has passed you by and you are in a waiting room for some doctor to help you understand what’s going on…No. Make good choices now. Everything I read tells us that making choices can change the results we fear. Don’t let 13 be a gamble, rather, let it be a decision to change.

Praying for you!

 

How Committed Are You?

How Committed Are You?

Regardless of what you approach in life, there must be a level of commitment that assures a level of success. You should never enter a process halfheartedly. Do you know how committed you are to finding success? You should know…

We all have things we think we want to do and find the intestinal fortitude to step up to the plate and swing for the fences. But we also know that along the path of doing, we find it isn’t right for us, or it’s not something we enjoy.

You know the old story of a young person saying to a master of the violin, “I wish I could play like you!” The master says, “No you don’t.” Back and forth the conversation goes until the master finally says, “If you wanted to play like me you would practice 8 hours a day. That’s what it takes to play like me.”

Whoa! It takes a daily commitment of 8 hours to get as good as that one you admire? Let’s re-think this!

I so wanted to pilot and enjoyed the process of getting my private pilot license back in the mid-1980’s. A blast to be in control, and soar through the skies. But the cost of renting a plane after the license was earned, or even the cost of buying a plane, well… the commitment to flying sort of dwindled. There was no where to go, except to sight see, and the plane costs were astronomical for the rewards garnered.

To this day I drive by little airfields and wish I were able to fly… It’s still not cost effective for me.

When I wanted to learn programming I registered for a class, pre-bought the book, did every lesson while working in the computer room, took a box of all the results to the teacher the first day of class, “Now what?” RPG II, COBOL, FORTRAN… All languages done the same way. Eventually, I became a programmer and have developed in over 37 languages. My manager once told me, “Learn the application, who cares about the language! Languages come and go. Know the systems.”

Now, this was after a high school testing around 1970 told me to stay away from computers. My math skills were not high enough to warrant a career in this industry… Go figure!

My commitment gave me a satisfactory career, but the day came that I was too old, and had made too much money, and a job was hard to come by. So, I reinvented myself. Again. This is what you must be willing to do to be successful. Re-invent, restart, relearn, and charge the career again and again.

This past week, I answered a rhetorical question to myself. What would I do if there were only 12 more months to be proactive in my calling? Not my career. That’s a different story. Yesterday, I challenged the church to think the same way. What would you do if there were only 12 months left to do what you may have thought was impossible before? Maybe you had lost your zeal and drive. Maybe, just maybe, you were even wondering why be persistent about my commitment?

We have heard those stories over and again of the person who kept trying, and right before they quit, they tried one more time. Voila! Success! Rescued!

If you are committed to success, maybe you will take the challenge of thinking, 12 more months. If you are committed, you will find someone to inspire you. If…. Maybe you need to read the story of Aron Ralston… Go ahead. Let me know what you think.

More later…

What Are Your Resources

What, and Where, Are Your Resources

Growing up, and I do not remember how hold I was, mom and dad bought a set of encyclopedias, which included a two-volume dictionary, a set of Childcraft how-to style science and mechanical books, and finally, a set of books that told all the bible stories in colorful and easier to read language. I know that for several years they would buy the additional World Book volumes to add to the encyclopedia. Why? Because life kept happening, even after the books were printed. New data to enhance or change what was previously printed.

I know there were literally hours spent with these book sets, some simply for the joy of research for our own little minds, and others because schoolwork demanded a resource for some report we were working on.

Where were our resources? Well. Growing up, mine were right there at home on the old black stained personal bookcase sitting in the living room. Or the school library. Or the local public library crammed into about 800 square feet.

When we wanted particular music, we went to the record store. Long before the digital format of today, you actually bought vinyl records with songs recorded in the groove on each side. And physically loaded it on a record player machine that set in the a nice cabinet. Again. In the living room. And when the 8-track became popular, my cousin had access to an 8-track RECORDER and we would convert our vinyl albums onto 8-tracks and PLAY them in the car! On an 8-track player wired into the radio, and it hung UNDERNEATH the dash board! Wow!!! We may not have FM radio, but we enjoyed an 8-track player!

Of course, by the 7o’s, the 8-track is replaced by the smaller cassette, and then CD’s, and now it’s all streamed digitally from our personal devices or with Sirius XM… Just like vinyl albums of my youth, the 8-track, cassette, and CD’s have all taken the back seat to newer technology.

I remember when we would all gather around the TV (black and white, we never owned a color set) to watch a specific show, and then the TV was turned off. Where? In the living room.  Who would have guessed the ability of the mobile world that allows you to watch what you want, when you want, and wherever you happen to be! No longer are we confined to that living room experience.

A side note, I never knew The Wizard of Oz was in color until I was married! 

In my youth, it seems that most of our school work, study time, and family fun, was spent in the living room. This is where we received our foundation of family dynamics, how to play games together, how to be entertained when needed, and how to read and study together… In the living room.

With the dynamics of technology driving us into solo experiences, it seems that the living room is no longer the center of the family. Kids rooms are full of more technology than you can shake a stick at! I know when we have company over I am more comfortable sitting around the dining table where a game of Crying Rummy can be enjoyed in the midst of conversation. Our living room is small and there’s no room to sprawl out and enjoy anything other than conversation with more than 5 or 6 people. And, of course, our family sizes have shrunk!

When computers were first sweeping the nation, we would buy encyclopedias and dictionaries applications. I know I still have one of these from my Windows 3.1 and DOS 5.0 days! Now, you simply Google it and you freely get an answer. We google it and never think it strange what the word itself is… Google is a noun (person, place or thing) and it is a verb (action item)…

In fact, I was very leary of wireless internet. I could not imagine the day that I would take the internet world with me in the form of a small calculator sized device we call the mobile phone. I mean, it’s been over 40 years since the first brick mobile phone showed up and I could not imagine owning one, nor what it would become. Now we are constantly looking for that WIFI signal and wondering if we need a password!

So. Our world has changed dramatically. No longer are we bound to a physical library of material. We have our computing and internet dominated research at the tips of our fingers. You can even vocalize what you want and Siri will respond with answers, or the location where you might find the answer to your question.

Still, the big problem with the internet is the source of material you reference to get what it is you need for the moment. We’ve learned the lesson that not everything found is factual. You must weed out the bad, keep the good, and hope it produces edible fruit! This is also true with news reports. We must fact check everything before we can believe anything. I’ve taught for years that there are 40 sides to a story, and with the internet, I think that number has grown into the thousands.

Just because you see it…doesn’t mean it’s truth. 

So. Find a good set of resources that you trust. Keep watch over them to see if they slip into dangerous territory of not speaking complete truth.

Just saying….We’ve learned that we can no longer simply trust the individuals reporting the news, now can we simply trust the source of the news and information being presented to us on an moment by moment bases… Find a truthful resource… Stick with ’em!

If the Apostle Paul can deal with the same issues in that older world of scrolls and slow travel, how much more do we have to watch for it today?

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:1-4 NKJV)

Be Proud Enough To Stand

Be Proud Enough To Stand

I found this little picture via a tweet early this morning… and it prompted all kinds of thoughts. Be proud of who I am was the thought that loomed large!

Be proud of who you are – we are a combination of our genetic value, and a representation of all historical pieces that make you who you are today. I’m proud to be my parents child. I’m proud to be born a Texan. I’m literally thrilled to look deep in the family tree and track who I am by where we have all come from.

I’m proud to have had a career in IT, pastor a church, be called a church planter, and very proud of my Christian roots. I’m more than proud of my wife and all she means to me. I’m proud of my children and the mate choices. I’m proud to be a granmpa….

I’m proud to have my age shared at the drop of a hat… 62! And still aging just fine, thank you very much! I’m proud to have a marriage that has lasted, when many see it as an unusual thing. 43 years this July!

I’m proud to have good siblings that I know will be there the day I need them the most, as they know the same of me. Equally, I’m proud of all my extended family, even if you sometimes feel like you’re the black sheep of some family dynamic.

We should be proud of who we are today, and knowing that life isn’t over and there’s plenty of time to accomplish even more accolades, awards, and achievements.

My son asked a question of me. Yesterday. I’m not sure of the answer, and pointed him to some others that may know more. I know that (supposedly) on one side of the family tree there are Choctaw roots, and on the other are Cherokee roots, and way back further than any of us know, someone came over from the old country to plant the family tree on this continent. On my bride’s side of the family there is supposedly a connection back to Davy Crockett, and even all the way back to Napoleon Bonaparte.

But here’s the thought for today. Although my legal last name may say “Gurley”, I know that the roots of my personal tree include last names like Simmons, Walters, and Parrish. I have relatives with these last names and they are part of an even differently varied set of roots than I.

I’m proud to have a unique name that almost comes in the category of Johnny Cash’s song, “A Boy Named Sue.” I do not remember much ribbing in my younger days, but there are some who make fun of just about anything and Gurley is one such word. In fact, I often see the name spelled “Girlie”… Just saying. I’m proud of my heritage that penned this name on my frame.

My family is spread far and wide, and many of them are total unknowns. I know I have family an hour or two north of me, and I remember one of them from my youth – but we’ve been over 50 years separated and I could not point him out in a crowd. Over in Idaho there is a branch of the tree that comes from my paternal grandmother’s side of the family. I think. Mom and dad have met them and pointed out the cemetery where some are buried, but I have not yet met that branch.

Track the name Gurley and you find little towns and hollows all across the nation. From Nebraska to Alabama, and yes, even in Texas. I think it may have been absorbed by Waco. [Source] I’ve been to each of these places… including Gurley Hollow, Tennessee… I’m still hoping to make it to Gurley, Australia, about 2 hours north of Sydney…

We all understand that our past may include some history that we are not proud of, and in today’s world we are more enlightened than prior generations. But when you realize that it is simply part of your past, and not your present or future, then my mind tells me to accept that none of us were, or even now are, perfect. All kinds of mistakes were made, and are being made today, and will be made tomorrow. That’s life.

Through the years I’ve collected Gurley memorabilia… My first was a ball cap from Gurley Motors, Gallup, NM… We were driving through on vacation when my son was barely a year old. About 1979, I suspect. An interesting trip that included Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon. (1977 GMC Pickup, Sea Mist Green, 305 v8… bench seats)

And everywhere I go I’m quick to take pictures of the places and things with my namesake attached…

Since then, I’ve added memorabilia of objects, history, music and books to my collection. Some are from current family members with the same last name as mine, others I picked up in my travels, or via eBay. I even have some artifacts from my Uncle Alton Gurley from his time in the service. He was a Pearl Harbor the day it was attacked.

I’m proud of where I was born… Baytown, Texas. And this morning, the Houston Chronicle published a photo essay of the town where my parents, sibling, and son were born. [Source] There was an oil boom back in the early 1900’s and the sleepy village became a booming oil town. Much of it’s economy still revolves around this boom that has been over 100 years in the making.

Maybe part of why I write today relates to the moments of thought as I woke, but the main reason is that we should be proud of who we are, who we have become, or who we are working at becoming. A thought from a tweet yesterday sort of paints the picture I hope to leave you with today.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You may not stand on the shoulders of a great history of people that you can identify, or identify with, but you do have the opportunity to work at becoming the person you want to be.

Be proud of who you are!

I’m Listening

I’m Listening…

This morning I wanted to continue a thought from yesterday’s blog when I asked, “Who’s Listening?”

For anyone who knows anything about Seattle, there is a fictional radio doctor with a Harvard degree who opened his call-in show with the phrase, “I’m Listening”…. He was a mental health profession (Psychiatrist, I think) and had a job solving the woes of people who would call in and talk about their problems in a public arena. Perhaps you know Frasier Crane.

Sometimes Frasier was good at his job… Sometimes not…

Frasier CraneI woke this morning thinking about hard sayings we struggle with. You know. “I’m sorry. Forgive me. Please. Thank you.” And Frasier’s opening line to a caller made me realize how hard it is for so many of us to sit back and simply say, “I’m listening.”

Most of us listen and our mind speeds through our potential responses. We are often failures at hearing the entire story, or the real reason the story is being shared. This is true for many of us, we do not listen to understand, we listen to give a response.

A person trained in therapy is not there to give us solutions (I’ve been told), rather, they are there to ask revealing questions that will guide to solutions of our own making. They help us come up with our own solutions.

In fact, a therapist may ask you something like, “Why are you here?” Your response could easily be, “I don’t know, you tell me.”, to which the therapist replies, “Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.”

And that’s a hard pill to swallow.

Most of us want to give solutions, not a guiding hand. Most of us want to solve things the way we see it, and not allow the person to follow their own lead.

Recently, Prince Harry revealed that he is finally getting therapy to help him get over the death of his mom, Princesses Diana. [Source] In one local radio talk show yesterday, while talking about Prince Harry, it was revealed that each of the talking heads (KIRO 97.3) had experienced, previously, or were currently in counseling or therapy (each felt differently about the word usage) and the benefits they perceived from getting to talk to someone who would simply listen.

Who’s listening to you? Your questions? Your confusion?

Since my deeper study has been around the bible and theology, I looked through some writings dealing with the questions, answers and listening styles of various persona’s. One study of the gospels suggest that Jesus was asked 183 questions and only answered 3 of them. He was not the “answer man” we all think of him as. Rather, “he modeled the struggle, the wondering, the thinking it through that helps us draw closer to God and better understand, not just the answer, but ourselves, our process and ultimately why questions are among Jesus’ profound gifts for a life of faith.” [Source]

I would like to think that the way Jesus handled questions are the way we should handle questions. Listen. Guide the conversation so that the person asking has the ability to realize the answer on their own. But too often we feel the question or thought is a personal challenge to our own views and we righteously defend, even to the point of drawing blood and ill feelings.

I know this has been my modus operandi to some who would question.

Why do we do this? Perhaps it’s generations of examples that has taught us how to deal with questions. Or how to give answers. It must take years of training and practice to get good at dealing with the questions that people ask, or handling the problems they are presenting. Maybe that’s why future lawyers join the “debate team” – they have to develop quick wit and response mechanisms so as to not get overwhelmed in the courtroom.

Once again, I look to scripture and bring several areas of personal interest and study dealing with Jesus and the audience. Here are several thoughts about the questions between Jesus and his followers. I wonder who’s listening deep enough to respond appropriately to the question?

First

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-15 NKJV)

He asks a general question about his personal identity, and the disciples talk about it for a while. I’m sure it was not a simple answer, there was probably a lot of discussion and comparison of opinions. Then Jesus drills down a little deeper, “Who do you say I am?”  Okay. I’ve heard you say what others think, now what do you think? Peter blurts out the proper answer that he suddenly believes in, and is rewarded with a leadership role in the new church.

Second

How about the conversation between Jesus and Peter after the resurrection, and just before the ascension? (John 21:15-19) Three times Jesus asks Peter if he loves him. Three times Peter answers. Three times Jesus gives him a future job to do.  Each of the questions are subtly different in the original language. You would need to look at the words for Love, Lambs and Sheep to understand the questions, as well as the answers. Jesus is asking one way, Peter is responding a different way. In fact, Peter never responds appropriately to the question the way Jesus asks.

To close this thought with what I discussed yesterday… If our actions speak louder than our words, then I wonder what your actions are trying to say about your life questions and choices?

I just want those close to me to know, “I’m listening.”

Who’s Listening

Who’s Listening?

If you are maturing, you realize there are probably many who do not listen to you at all, and you are probably okay with that. If you are truthful, you often wonder who really cares what you have to say and ask, “How can I communicate better?”

For those of us who have had teenagers, we understand there is a time that they do not listen to the voice of age and reason. Their hormones are whacked out and their ears and little brains shut down when an adult opens their mouth to speak.

For those of us who were once teenagers,
we remember those days and say things like, “If only I had listened!”

For over 35 years I have been preaching and teaching, and have thousands of messages that document my history of speaking. For over 10 years I have taught college courses in banking, IT and ministry. For 7 years I have been blogging, sometimes not faithfully following a schedule, but through the past several years it’s been an almost daily event. For over 40 years I have been an “adult” with a maturing process of words and things to says.

Many have heard, or read my work, one way or another.

My blog has occasional readers from all around the world. I’m surprised when someone in Dubai, Hong Kong or Saudi Arabia clicks on my blog – but then I’m sure they are not really there to read and are running a key word search and they happen to land on my blog, among many other sites. I am surprised when someone actually leaves a comment at my blog. It normally means we are not connected via any other social media, and this is the best way to drop a piece of mail my way.

Through the years I have not always communicated an intentional message, following a pattern of words that takes someone on a journey. I learned yesterday that many want intentional information, like a carpenter needs a blueprint, or a traveler needs a map, or a programmer needs a flowchart.

I know I want concrete information! I listen to voices that give me solid actions and steps to take, rather than those big ideas, or random tips and tricks. So, I have voices that I tune in to, authors, pastors, teachers, coach’s and guru’s. All to help me be a better “me” and find better steps, processes, systems, and avenues to consider.

Crystal Radio Kit

But in the midst of all the noise, I have often found the best time of listening comes when there is no sound competing for my attention. It’s an internal, still, small, voice… Some may say it’s my consciousness. Other’s simply say I’m ruminating through the ether of my mind, trying to tune in to some line of thought…much like that old Crystal Radio dad and I assembled by in the early 60’s. I still don’t understand how it worked, but if you listened closely you may be able to tune in to a particular radio station with those ancient earplugs.

You have to listen closely.

And that’s what I’m thinking about today. You have to listen closely so you can understand better what’s being said. Depending on the voice, you may even have to “read between the lines” to get the subtilty of the message. Sometimes it’s difficult to simply understand the nuances of the spoken, or written, word.

So how do you determine what someone is truly saying? How do you understand who is listening to what you have to say?

We all know this to be the truth, but it is better that we lay it on the table and think about it. When a message is being communicated, we observe what the speaker does, and determine if their actions line up to the words that are coming out of their mouth. Sort of like using a plumb bob to see if you have built something straight and level using a simple weight and string to line up what you did, with what you planned…what you do, with what you said…

“Actions speak louder than words” and “Actions have consequences” – both valid statements allowing us to determine if the speakers action are lined up to their words…

The spirit of these words can be attributed to many throughout the years [Source] but it really finds roots in the epistle of St John…

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:18 NKJV)

Words matter, but actions show the truth of our words. People may hear one thing, and see another. In other words, the answer to the question, “Who’s listening?” may not have anything to do with the words you speak, but rather the things that you do.

I believe people “watch and learn” better than simply “sitting and listening”. Of course, this is applicable via our own personal learning styles. [Read here from my blog post: 4 Little Things] Some need to hear, others read, some watch, and others need to do. We all learn differently… True?

Well, the Apostle Paul dealt with this same concept in my favorite epistle to the Philippians. And I’ve written about this recently. [Source]

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.  (Philippians 4:8-9 NKJV)

The things which you have learned, received, heard and saw in me… (all the learning styles!) … Do.  Yes… Your actions are probably the most visible sound your words can communicate. Do well, and let your actions be exactly what your words have spoken.

Some are listening to what you do, more than what you say!