Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. Psalm 119: Hello Readers! I’ve been quiet here. But do plan to be back writing faithfully in a few weeks!… More
I’m posting this on the day my neighbours to the south, the United States, are celebrating their Thanksgiving holiday. Ours, in Canada, was October 14th and why the different date than the USA? Well, it ‘is complicated’ –words that titled an article on the subject in a national magazine.
There is no doubt that Canada and the USA have their differences. We have CFL and they have NFL for one, with differences such as a three downs in our game compared to their four! And I have friends who follow both leagues.
That’s the blessing of having neighbours who do different than we do, maybe even follow different rules. I’m not going to get political here. Instead point to what God’s word says about who we all are, and how we are to be.
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Malachi 2:10
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14
So Happy Thanksgiving my brothers and sisters across my country border! And thank you for all the experiences I have had in your country–from the awe-striking sunset of Maui, to the metropolitan of New York, to the white-knuckling rides at Universal Studios, Florida, and so much more…and more to come.
Often I’ll hear those big leaders talk about starting small. But my argument to that?
Small is just as impactful as big. Nothing is small. All acts of obedience are big.
Start small. And maybe small is your call. And that’s big too.
A small group leader of 2 is as impactful as a speaker who grows to 100,000 ‘s in audience. If your serving is mentoring one, serving for one, doing one thing…it’s BIG.
May you never think you HAVE to grow your audience, your social media following, your social influence….to be impactful.
May you never think you need to BE more to be impactful
Instead may you know that you make a difference no matter a measurement.
“You make a difference no matter a measurement.”
Maybe those big, influential leaders could eliminate the phrase to “start small” to start a shift towards authenticity rather than popularity in this culture blown up with media influence to be more popular with the masses. And for some, that popularity has included selling out through stealing words, pictures, ideas…deceit and lies unfortunately.
Small is just as impactful as big. Nothing is small. All acts of obedience are big.
“All acts of obedience are big.”
Maybe it’s time to talk about starting big by showing up.
How would you end the following sentence?
Maybe it’s time to ……
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
Lynn J Simpson, Certified Professional Life Coach at Inspiring Hope in You
“Is that the lake they called the ‘disappearing lake’ and threw mattresses in to stop draining?”
I glanced at my friend from the passenger seat of his cozy Dodge truck. “I’m not sure.” I’ve been there so many times, to this lake in Jasper National Park, you think I would know!
It’s one of my favourite places after all-summer, spring, winter, fall-all seasons. I’d witnessed the low waters, and places where the water seemed to have disappeared. Yet I’ve never asked why.
My friend? He’d never been to Medicine Lake. But we later learn he is right. It is known as the ‘disappearing lake.’ The indigenous named the lake due to its’ “magic” or “big medicine.”
The anomaly is explained on the information board at Medicine Lake. The lake lies about about half way up Maligne Lake Road but many tourists, I’ve noticed, miss Medicine Lake. Instead, they continue up the road to the popular areas of Maligne Canyon and Maligne Lake.
If ever in the area, I’d encourage you to stop.
My friend silently reads the explanation of the disappearing waters. I just scan the words, the images. I’m restless in the wind. I pull my knit hat over my ears and start to descend the steep stairs to the rocky bank that precludes the lake. Soon I hear my friend’s steps too.
When in this place I’m distracted. Or am I? Maybe I’m just caught up in the magic of the place.
I navigate the craggy rocks until I reach the lake’s shore. The transparent waters barely cover the pebbles and sentiment. I peer through my camera lens at the seven kilometre lake expanding then narrowing in the distance. The surrounding Rocky Mountains scrape the sky then progressively descend in the distance.
It’s medicine for my soul, this place.
When I finally look up, I see my friend has wandered north along the shore. I join him and he tells me the resolution of the mystery. In the 70’s, dye was used to determine the waters flow into an underground cave system. In the spring and summer the glacier melt water fill the cave system to overflowing causing Medicine Lake to rise. In the fall and winter, the water drains back into the cave system to eventually empty into the near by waters of Athabasca River and the Maligne Canyon.
Later as my friend drives us up Maligne Road, I follow the sight of Medicine Lake from my window. I notice areas where the lake has disappeared and the land is rippling clay. My friend and I ponder about where these unseen cave entries may be.
And I’m grateful. Grateful for a friend to teach me how to go deeper, beyond what I chose only to see, and underground to the truth.
And the mattresses ended up being just an unproven tale after all.
Linking up at #TellHisStory
The snow has come and stayed in my part of the world. It is early, however I’m not surprised by sudden weather changes anymore. Having an adventurous temperament, the abrupt changes can even be satisfying. Even the dullness of a lingering grey sky can benefit me because it makes me search out places to brighten my day.
It’s this search for the light that led me to a conservatory of plants and flowers that were displayed in exhibits titled Tropical, Arid, and Temperate. I’d packed my older camera and macro filters I hadn’t used in a long time. The camera was light in my hand as I snapped pictures of water droplets, yellow and red rose petals, and thorns on cactuses. And I was happy with the lightness of the shots.
If familiar with photography, you know it’s all about the light–determining the light of the environment and setting up the camera to expose that light for the effect you desire.
It wasn’t until I’d reached the last exhibit that I noticed why my camera had been letting in so much light. It was set at 800 ISO! A little side lesson on photography–the higher the ISO number the more light BUT also the more noise. This means the pictures will have a grainy look. This grainy look may do well on outdoor night shots for example, but not on close-up flower shots that you generally want clear and sharp!
I hadn’t taken the time to check all the settings on my camera nor to check why the photos were light in an environment that generally takes more adjusting to get the right exposure.
Not very wise of me. Not very wise at all.
When I’d review the shot on my tiny camera screen, I’d assumed the light was okay without looking further into the details of what was really happening–too much noise was also getting into the picture.
And reflecting, it’s in more areas than photography where I’ve not noticed the noise in my life because I did not prepare and did not pay attention to the details.
For example, I’ve jumped into dating relationships before first getting to know the mens character, fixated on my light of hope to the point of compromising my own convictions. But the noises of incompatibilities eventually splintered the relationships.
In hindsight, and through all I’ve learned since then of God’s design for marriage, I know the hurts of those broken relationships may have been avoided if I wisely (and courageously) had taken the time to pay attention to the details by 1. spending more time getting to know one another before dating 2. being aware of feelings that can cloud compatibility issues and, 3. loving and respecting one another by always moving each other toward our relationship with God.
By doing these three steps, too, I’d be preparing a foundation for a marriage honouring God first, that exposes the light of His truths, and that brings focus to each of our gifts and how He wants us to use them–what I like to call a Kingdom Building Marriage.
Ideally this all sounds great and I’m yet (or maybe never) will live it out in a marriage relationship. And I know what I’ve proposed is quite counter-culture that even singles within the church (I’m quite sure as have witnessed it and been there) find it hard to stay out of the world noise that often tells of a different way to date.
But, like adjusting the camera’s ISO to create the clear picture we desire, we can set our minds and hearts on God’s light who always provides, protects, and brings us peace.
For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:10-11
My son, do not forget my teachings, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years, and bring you peace and prosperity. Proverbs 3:1-2
Your turn. Love to hear your thoughts (& learn more!) on God’s design for marriage. If married, are there ways you could help singles in your church toward godly dating and marriage?
(Note that the pictures in this post have been edited with a noise reduction feature in my software!)
Lynn J Simpson, Certified Professional Life Coach at Inspiring Hope in You
Recently while serving at an event at my home church, I found myself in the volunteer room with two other single ladies. Our ages varied in decades–from the 30’s to the 60’s. Two of us were divorced and one never married.
I gave the name of a Christian Singles Group to one of the ladies after hearing her want of meeting other singles, particularly men. And the conversations of dating came up with varied experiences and opinions especially regarding online dating.
Personally I haven’t done online dating in over 15 years and it scares me! If I am to date, I’d much prefer the friends to dating kind of way. However, since I haven’t dated for a few years now I recognize I cannot be an authority on it at all! haha!
And I no longer attend single events. When I first came back to the church ten years ago, a single’s group was a wonderful place where I met other singles, and I made women friendships that still carry on today.
Like I imagine any church ministry, the singles ministry is not without it’s challenges. Good — no excellent leadership is needed. I’ve seen single ministries end due to lack of leadership. And believe that is a wise decision for churches.
I’ll often hear “the church isn’t serving singles well” from singles and those married, from elders and pastors.
But I wonder instead of the question being “How can churches meet the needs of singles?” it could be “How can singles meet the needs of the church?”
I know I may be getting some backs stiffening up with that question! I hope you can provide me with grace as I further the thoughts.
When hearing singles hearts, I hear their inner cries of wanting to belong, to be known. It’s a need we all have. As Christians we learn that our heavenly Father knows us. He knows every hair on our head (Luke 12:7) and that we are more valuable to Him than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31). We know we have great worth in His eyes because we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) through the sacrifice of His only son (John 3:16). We know we are unconditionally loved (1 John 4:16).
No matter your status–single, divorced, widowed, married–His truths apply.
You are loved, worthy and valuable. And that includes in the church community. You add value to the church and provide a need that only the unique, wonderfully made you, can provide.
So to the single, my hope is you know you are already known, that your worth is securely planted from your identity in Christ and He has service for you to do, needs to be met by you that may include needs in your own church community. And maybe even ask yourself, a pastor, a friend–What’s a need in the church I can meet?
To the church community as a whole, my hope is we serve like God calls us to serve all–with humility and without “selfish ambition or vain conceit.” This serving of others includes no discrimination or labels but with tenderness and compassion because we are all “one in spirit and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1-4).
Back to the experiences and opinions on dating as a Christian….well that might be future post! haha!
What are ways you could serve as a single at your church, or, if not single, encourage singles as part of the oneness within the body?
Lynn J Simpson, Certified Professional Life Coach at Inspiring Hope In You
Linked up today at Holly Gerth-Let’s Have Coffee
I’m not sure if it is either DNA or genes that dictate personality traits. So not sure if it is my Dad’s DNA or his genes that created a tendency in me to be restless within.
I’ve described my Dad as a ‘wanderer,’ however not sure if that is right word to explain his explorations including travels across provinces, country borders, or to the horse stables just a few miles from our home.
At home, too, in his lazy-boy chair he’d wander into stories when reading his spy novels, biographies, and the three or four newspapers delivered to our front porch daily.
Merriam-Webster defines ‘wanderer’ as a person who roams about without a fixed route or destination.
No, I do not think ‘wanderer’ fits my Dad.
I’d called it wandering too, when late in his life and legally blind, he’d go on his a strolls away from the nursing home. Once while resting on a bus bench, a bus stopped, and the driver helped him on. He ended up riding the route, circling back to where he started (and where a relieved nurse from the nursing home waited on that same bus bench).
No, Dad can’t be called a wanderer because, even if he wasn’t sure of his routes and had to refer to those paper maps in the glove compartments of his cars, he always had destinations in mind.
So maybe explorer would be a better word to describe my dad. And his explorations likely were motivated from a restlessness within. A restlessness derived from a knowing there is something more.
It is this more that can drive us to proceed, to keep seeking and reaching to fulfill our God-given heart desires of peace, joy, and love.
And to know Him.
I believe my dad’s heart desires were full-filled completely. He now rests in God’s presence, his restlessness no longer necessary to explore for something more.
Yes, I may have received my restless trait to explore from my dad, but it is my heavenly Father who first gave it to me. My restlessness can be used to seek Him for what only He can satisfy.
So I’ve begun to embrace more my times of restlessness within.
Because I know that in my restless explorations I am not wandering aimlessly but seeking more direction from the One who created me. My routes may shift, change and be corrected, but He is my constant companion. And with patience, mercy and grace, He is teaching me His ways to the final destination–complete rest in Him.
If you’re in a season of restlessness, my friend, I pray you know you do not need to wander. Instead keep your eyes fixed on the destination God calls us to–completeness in Him.
And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:10
Linked up today at #TellHisStory
Love Lynn, Certified Professional Life Coach @ Inspiring Hope in You
I sit here, at this desk in the library, my university course books to my left, my day timer to my right, and my current devotional laid flat and open and and upside down in a corner.
But my eyes too, wander up from the screen, to the street view through this second story location from this place I sit at the library.
There’s a pair walking, a mother and daughter possibly, the elder one’s gait hobbles as if one shoe is multiple soles rather than one. Her arm is linked with the other one, tall, slim, in dark pants and a white sweater.
The temperature has cooled over these last two July days, from t-shirts to light jackets, from outside patio to indoor dining. And in these last two days, the weather pressure has also built a pressure in my face, behind my eyes I cannot shake, leaving me tired. And behind.
It’s not a migraine and my heart goes out to those that do suffer from those splitting head, nauseating symptoms when the barometer fluctuates not in their favour. I believe my symptoms are allergies, from what I’m not sure, as the air is full of many components. And I’ve never been tested.
It’s these possible allergies, the pressure, the irritation of being oh-so tired, that has brought me to this library desk at this moment in the hope the change of place will get me from being behind to on schedule again. An essay is undone, due last week.
Yet, inward focus is still foggy at best, and know my work may not be any good in this time. But I’m trying, trying hard to push through, yet…
My eyes lift up to the window, a barrier that holds the air outside from my place.
There’s a pair walking, a mother and daughter possibly. The daughter steadies her mother though the linking of their arms. And I wonder too, about another time when the mother held her arms out to her daughter to come to her. Her daughters steps slow, and unsteady, with a wobbling gait that looked like she walked in a pair of shoes with uneven soles.
A passing of time….
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:… Ecclesiastes 3:1
And a ponder, is there really such a thing as a time of being behind? Or is it only a judgement, a label?
What if we left the word behind, behind?
I wonder if we left the word behind behind, if we’d also leave behind the scurrying to just get done so we’re not feeling behind, sacrificing quality and presence in the present.
And then see His presence in the present and be present in His presence when Jesus shows up.
We see in the story of Mary and Martha, (Luke 10:38-42) Mary was in His presence when Jesus showed up at their home. Martha called out to Jesus in complaint that Mary wasn’t helping in the preparations. I’m guessing she called out, too, as she was feeling behind and wanted to finish up as soon as possible too, so she could enjoy the presence of Jesus.
But Jesus? He wasn’t worried about the preparations, or if Martha would be finished on-time. Present in her home, He just wanted to Martha to be in His presence at that moment, the story teaches.
And teaches too, that we cannot ever spend too much time with Him.
They are gone, the pair, the mother and daughter possibly, maybe into one of the residences in the seniors apartments I see from my place where I sit in the library. And I feel blessed to have witnessed that moment of kindness, of love, of caring, and a leaning in to hold up–all that Jesus is.
There’s still the presence of pressure in my face, my eyes, my head. Yet the pressure of needing to perform to the level to write a university third year essay at this moment has vaporized.
Because Jesus showed up. And I’m on His schedule.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19
2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day
How do you stop yourself from doing, from feeling behind, to get on God’s schedule?
Lynn J Simpson, Certified Professional Life Coach at Inspiring Hope in You
Linking up with #TellHisStory
It only took 6 months to finally start, but start I did! I’ve had video making as my goal this year. I even bought equipment way back in January (and I share links to these items later in this post). You can hear more of my story in my first VLOG including the why behind this venture into video learning (and other projects I’m currently working on). It’s all in the video story I share below. I hope it inspires!
If you prefer to read what I’ve been up to, I’ve got that covered for you too! In the video I go over all the things I currently have on my desk which are all part of projects I’m working on.
On my desk are various video equipment items. I received video tips from Female Entrepreneur Association/Carrie Green and the recommended video equipment I have on my desk are the Rhode Microphone and Boya Mic and for scripting for future videos, the Parrot Teleprompter
The two books I have on my desk are The Sacred Search by Gary Sacher and The Mingling of Souls by Matthew Chandler. Both these books are to deepen my understanding on how God calls us to marriage His way and the reason why. And the reason why I’m reading them, too, is a small step to a possible ministry God might be calling me into. I say might, as I am not entirely sure, yet trust by taking this step He’ll lead me to what and how He’d like me to build His kingdom.
My two published journals are also on my desk; Breathing Spaces and Daily Success Journal. I’m taking small steps to publish a devotional that reflects Breathing Spaces, and I use my Daily Success Journal regularly! However, they are all sold out and I’m waiting for my new ones to arrive. I share in the video too, how I was blessed by a buyer of my journals recently who shared how it is helping her have a ‘happy’ mindset during a difficult time. I saw this also as a God nudge to keep going. Sometimes we just need those God-nudges of encouragement especially when what we are doing does not seem to produce the fruit we hoped for.
I end the video talking some camera chat showing my first DSLR camera, the Canon Rebel, that is on my desk. And chatting about the camera that I video with-Canon 5D Mark III. And how, if you are interested in ‘shooting’, just start! Don’t worry about having to know about aperture, shutter speed, focal length….just start. As it’s in the doing that we learn!
So, what have you been up to? What projects are you working on?
(P.S. I’ll be back here on Tuesday posting words and Breathing Space photos as usual!)
Lynn J Simpson, Author/Coach/Photographer at Inspiring Hope In You
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
“Where are the bears?” the young man asks, his stride matching mine. His vowels rounded that only someone from a land across the ocean could perfect.
“Oh I’m not sure you really want to see a wild bear,” I replied in typical Canadian polite and honest manner. “You can really get hurt by bears. My sister was a nurse in Jasper and she’s seen enough bear mauling injuries she won’t even tent anymore.”
“Really huh? Well, where can we see them?” I glanced over at the young man, a helmet of some kind (rock climbing maybe?) set upon his head, his quiet companion walking beside him. A backdrop of rocky mountain glory and the chatter of others, some languages unrecognizable, surrounded us in this popular tourism spot in Banff, Alberta.
How could I deny them any information to see something new in this place they travelled too, maybe even planned for many years?
I gave them what giving I had.
“If you head to Lake Louise and do the hike up to the Tea House, you may see the grizzlies running in the gullies below. And the black bears hang out up there but usually at night when the tourists aren’t there. But the staff can tell you stories about those bears. You may even see some bear tracks.”
“Great mate. Thanks!”
As they picked up their pace I called after them as had to do my due diligence after all. “Make sure to have bear spray and bells!”
He turned, gave a quick wave of acknowledgment and the two paraded on to their next adventure. And I could feel myself being glad for them. Their excitement, their fresh eyes in this Rocky Mountain town I’d been to many times, gave me joy that only a giving can do.
It was just a little giving, a connection I allowed in when matching their stride on the path we both travelled.
And maybe, just maybe it was also a giving forward, a result from another giving that happened soon before.
A giving from an unexpected conversation due to a kindness thought needed. A need seen, an opportunity seized.
I’d spent the morning hours walking the loop of Minnewanka Lake, in solitude. At times I paused, knelt and took pictures and video of a beauty that my camera cannot fully express. Intentionally I tried not to fill my mind with words, with thoughts, and analysis as I often due on my walks. A smile or said ‘hi’ would occur from time to time between passer-byes. But overall, even with the lake’s rippling, the tour boats motoring, and the tourists conversing, it was an alone silence I heard within.
I’m one who can be alone when travelling. I have never hesitated, either, to sign up for a course alone or a weekend retreat not knowing anyone going. Or buy a concert or a theatre ticket for one. An old friend of mine recently called me fiercely independent, elaborating on how I just go and ‘do stuff.’ And, yes that’s true.
But doing this ‘stuff’ on my own doesn’t necessarily mean I want to always be alone. It’s just that if I didn’t go “do stuff” on my own, I may never “do stuff” at all.
The alone silence I heard within, on the rocky mountain lake path, was a familiar alone silence, one I have navigated through before. When the thoughts came in that I wouldn’t mind to be sharing this time with another, I’d accept them with patience and grace. I’ve learned how to be content in the alone silence. But the need for connection is a known fact and never withdrawn.
Because God made us for community.
It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
So later, when I stopped at the snack shack and sat down comfortably on a stool, placing my water, purchase and backpack on a high counter, the magical view of Lake Minnewanka ahead of me, I welcomed in the question, the connecting, from the man devouring a vanilla ice cream cone beside me.
“Are you from here?”
Just a few hours north, I told him. And over the next half hour I learned about northern England, about a son moving across the sea to begin a prosperous farming career in prairie Canada, and a grand daughter who showed off her welsh words over Skype. I laughed along with this gentle man and his wife perched beside him as he told me the response of his doctor when he complained of his foot giving him so much trouble even after a life-style of healthy eating and exercise. ” “Mr. Reed, she said, “things just wear out.” ”
But it was, unexpectedly, the story he shared of his neighbour back home in England that most gave. And later gave forward. “He lives alone, you see. And I knocked on his door one day to say hi. He told me he hadn’t talked to anyone in two days! Now I try to talk to anyone I see alone, you see.”
I do see.
I see a man who seized an opportunity of a needed kindness learned unexpectedly from a giving act of loving on his neighbour. And then loved on me, this neighbour who sat in a snack shack at a busy place of roaming tourists, alone.
Giving isn’t about what you have in your hands; it’s what you have in your heart. Never doubt it: an act of kindness…. can be more powerful than a sword in starting needed revolutions. Ann Voskamp, The Way of Abundance
I wonder now, if those two young men ever did see a wild bear during their time here in my home province of Alberta, Canada.
What I do know though, our connection when transversing the same path, gave them an unexpected gift that what they hope to see just might be possible.
Lynn J Simpson, Certified Professional Life Coach at INSPIRING HOPE IN YOU
Linking up with # TellHisStory
“I won’t take any advise from someone unless I know their spiritual life.” Her voice was stern, determined, with an unswayable undertone that made my fingertips grip my mouse tighter. There were a couple of empty tables between the couple and myself, yet even with the coffee grinder whirling and the chatter of baristas, I could hear her words clearly.
“I won’t take any advise from someone unless I know their spiritual life.”
I don’t mean to be eavesdropping. There really is no excuse. As a writer who has taken several writing courses that encourages to observe the people, the stories happening in our ordinary spaces, I tend to ‘tune’ into conversations without a lot of effort. Mostly I pay attention to ‘sound bites’, clips of words that my imagination can expand on as well as voice inflections and speech patterns.
Sometimes though a conversation heightens all my senses.
I know I don’t ever get the full-story.
But the words, the clips can cause me to pause enough to grab my pen or open Scrivener on my lap top.
“She’s teaching about mindset and how most of our problems have to do with mindset…I won’t take advise from anyone unless I know their Christian….”
“Even if a doctor says it’s depression and gives advise how to deal with it but I won’t take advise from her unless I know her spiritual direction…”
Later asking the Mexican barista…”I’m going to Mexico and want to teach these people about God….”
Leaving the cafe, commenting to her companion…”well I don’t care….”
I don’t hear the words clearly, and could be mistaken, but the tone is dismissive.
And a story idea begins to form.
Christian fiction writer, Ted Dekker, teaches that our character’s journey in the stories we write can explore our own faith questions.
So I found myself typing out the questions…
What would happen if a Christian never took advise from someone they did not see as ‘spiritual enough?’ Is that obeying or disobeying God? Would our lives be richer or smaller?
Currently I do take advise from others that are not of my faith, my trust often secured by their expertise from academia, experience and/or referral. My physician, nutritional counsellors, professional fitness trainers to name a few.
However, it can be tough to know what information is really true, to take in and apply when it flies at us from so many directions like a snow squall.
Life can be complicated that way, can’t it?
Recently my bible study led me to Paul’s journey to Berea.
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
And I pondered about the teachings of Jesus– would I have listened and accepted this new view being presented? Or been angry? Even dismissive?
Or eager like the Berean Jews?
Although they did not just take in Paul’s word and believe.
These listeners also examined the Scriptures evaluating Paul’s sermons for themselves so they could trust or dismiss his teachings.
And, I imagine, the many that became believers must have been quite delighted to come to the conclusion that is was all true!
As a result, many of them believed, as did a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. Acts 17:12
To even listen in the first place to Paul and Silas, they would have had an open-mind to these two teachers that wandered into town and into their place of worship.
They listened with eagerness AND discerning hearts, putting into practice Paul’s teachings that we read in Colossians.
So see to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world, rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
Carefully they examined Paul’s words against the scriptures they’d been studying and knew to be true. I imagine, too, being already very familiar with scripture, they would have had the word hidden in their hearts as taught by Psalms.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
We are taught well how to evaluate spiritual teachings .
We are to be open-minded and eager to listen. However, we are to verify and evaluate comparing what we hear with with what we know is true–God’s word in scriptures.
And the more we know the trust worthy source of The Word the more we are safeguarded against false-teachings.
All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
As for never taking advise from others, even doctors, that do not share our spiritual believes like the cafe lady I eavesdropped on…? Hmm… I may just follow Ted Dekker’s advise and explore the concept through fiction! Do you think it would make a compelling story?
Lynn J Simpson, Author/Coach/Photographer at Inspiring Hope in You
Linking up this week with #TellHisStory