Failure to Communicate

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When we fight, we fail to communicate. We think we are right, so we argue our point to the other person. We genuinely think we know what is true, but we do not always know, especially when it comes to literally everything. However, God knows all. Maybe it is time to stop talking, start praying, and let God sort out the other person’s behavior.

I saw something I had written down long ago, stressing all day about someone who was giving me a tough time. A book popped up out of nowhere that said give it to God. I wanted to throw my phone across the room. Are you kidding me, how could I? This was too important. If I got this wrong, what would happen to me? In my mind, it was if God was not completely aware of what was going on. How wrong could that be?

When we are thoroughly convinced of something, it is hard to receive any more input on the subject. Our brains tend to override our thinking and flush out everything that does not sit well with our beliefs. Obviously, those idiots did not hear the valuable words offered during the argument, so we feel the urgent need to express them much louder. Why else would they not hear them? We feel obligated to make sure they fully understand our point of view.

The trouble is, as much as we think we know how to communicate, we do not. This is why we need an advocate; someone who knows the other person better than we do and even better than they know themselves. It is God who knows their thoughts and hearts; plus, yours also. What better way to bridge the gap of understanding between two people, especially those in conflict with each other.

Do all that you can up to a certain point, at which the hardest part becomes letting go of the rest and trusting God to bridge the gap.

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Living by Strings

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Do you like to pull on others’ strings? When you try to control the decisions of other adults it creates a huge source of stress, not only in their lives but yours too. People are naturally selective and prefer their decisions over yours. Can you believe that? I know, absurd, right? But I find this out every time someone else does not do things my way.

While they swim in a sea of regret over their foolish decision, a self-righteous thought comes to mind. They followed their bonehead plan but perhaps they would not be in this mess if they had listened to my plan for them. Then God, with superior quality mental video, reminds me of the stupid things I did in my life. After each humbling experience, I am brought to the conclusion to just keep my mouth shut. None of us really knows what is best for ourselves, let alone the business of others.

I have learned opinions are not always wanted! I seldom ask others for advice and now trust God to help me make my decisions. I believe that the best place to get advice is to humble yourself and pray to God for it. Teachers teach students to think and not just to memorize. One day, the situation may be different, and they will have to figure it out for themselves based on what they were taught.

For most of my life, I fumbled along making countless decisions without praying. I am thoroughly convinced that a great deal of my pain and suffering has been a direct result of me seeking my own way. Hindsight is the clearest vision possible, but it comes at an excessive cost. Sometimes nothing can be done to untangle the past; it is what it is. But every decision moving forward can be in the right direction. I believe when a person earnestly seeks God to help them with their decisions, that they will receive guidance.

Let go of the stress of pulling someone else’s strings. Encouragement is good, but if they decide not to do it your way, do not lose your peace by holding on to something that needs to be let go of. Life is too precious to waste it being upset over things that do not really matter. Learn to let God guide you on your journey through life. When I finally grasped this concept, it made a world of difference in my life and now I hope to share this joy with anyone who will read and practice it so they too may experience it.

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God Does it for me

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Something my dad taught me to do many years ago was to start every day with prayer. Hearing and practicing are distinctly different though. Throughout the years he continued to emphasize the importance of alone time with God and how it helps us deal with whatever comes up during that day. I have lived long enough to know the truth of that statement and cannot recall the number of days wondering how I would make it through. But by grace, I made it through each one.

In recent months, I realized once again that I simply have too much on my mind. My career is challenging and with it, the stress comes often. Solving problems is part of the process but it is not something easily turned off. I see problems everywhere and ponder solutions to most of them. Add to that, the constant need to be connected and stay up to date with the latest on everything. It feels like a mouse spinning on a wheel, moving with great haste but getting nowhere.

Well, I finally took my dad’s advice. Shortly after waking up, I pray over the day, family, and friends, and give the day over to God. At times I listen to short clips of sermons or positive messages to let the first thing heard be something good. On my drive to work, I often witness the most gorgeous sunrises, especially a new one by a lake on the way. The vast array of colors is truly remarkable and nearly takes my breath away each time.

On break, I often walk around and take in rays of sunshine. I gaze up into the clouds and out over the blue sky. The birds soar freely in the air and squirrels chase each other around in the trees. Not every day appears beautiful, and on those I watch the rain fall tirelessly, as if there were no end. Yet eventually, the blue-sky returns, and the chirping of the birds resumes.

Far from the city lights when the day ends, the blue sky is hidden by the night. Up in the sky, I am witness to hundreds, maybe thousands of stars that fill the dark country sky. Another day has come and gone. I used to pray only shopping list prayers, as if God only existed to answer all my requests. While I do still pray like this at times, I came to appreciate more, simply by taking notice.

In the busyness of life, the rush tries to take away the little moments of peace. The loudness of everything that cries for my attention tries to drown out the softness of God’s voice. Matters of urgency will always be there but not all are as important as they first seem to be. One of my favorite scripture verses in troubled times is Psalms 46:10. When I am still, I notice more. Over the years, it has become something of immense value to me.

Some days in my communion with God, I express my gratitude for some of these things mentioned. Doing so seems to multiply the moments I have like this, to take in all the beauty that surrounds me. I cannot help but think to myself, God does it all for me. Not because there is anything special about me. Not because I have done everything right. No, simply because I pay attention, not to all that is wrong with the world but all that is right. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened. I believe God does it all for me but would for you too.

Find a way to pull gratitude out from a mixed-up life; it will change the way you see things.

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What is God’s Return on Investment?

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Save, save, save. We have all heard how important it is to save up for a rainy day, as well as for retirement. Each contribution adds to the prior ones, ultimately creating a fund that should sustain us for the remainder of our lives. Part of the reason we keep saving along the way is the joy in watching our savings grow. But with all investments, risk varies from one investment to the next.

The riskier the investment, the higher the return, but only if things go in your favor. The opposite can be true, meaning every deposit made into that investment could disappear altogether. For the latter reason, most people stay away from such risky investments because they do not want to lose everything. Who wants to spend a lifetime pouring into something that may lead only to disappointment?

While we may not all be wise investors, we can usually tell right away when something is not working to our benefit. It usually does not take us long to cut off whatever it is that is not giving us the return on investment that we were looking for. Imagine seeing another investor pouring in resources, day after day, year after year. For years, we may have known firsthand that the investment appeared to return nothing positive whatsoever. Instead, it brought only discouragement, showing red in the negative column of the balance sheet. What if that investor was so convinced of their investment, they poured in even more? The entire world would look on with disgust, and possibly a pity. The sorry thing just does not know what is good. If they were smart, they would cut their losses and abandon that investment.

When others see an investment as a lost cause, there is one investor that refuses to quit. When it no longer makes sense, this investor breaks all the rules. When the seemingly poor investment choice clearly yields a negative return and pays no dividend, they choose to keep on investing. For a lifetime, they add to the investment, waiting for the day it finally pays off. Whether it pays off or not is yet to be determined.

God believes and invests in you. What will be the return on that investment?

I’ll Come Running

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In any moment, a crisis can occur that will literally take everything off the agenda and throw it out the window. Crises do not care about priorities, health, or your peace of mind. They act like robbers, coming in to take away that which is precious to you. They do not discriminate, and attack whomever they will. With no ulterior motive, their sole purpose is to destroy. Not every crisis that pops up is serious, but the ones that are, feel like they stop the heart and take our breath away.

When these sorts of crises happen, they become events where we ultimately find out who in our lives we can count on. Strangely, it almost happens in layers. The first layer is what I like to call the snowflakes. They blow away at the least little wind that comes along, so there is no surprise there. The next layer down is what I call the comfort zoners. Anyone in this layer will be there in the crises, so long as it fits their life. When things start to get too difficult, the comfort zoners leave for greener pastures, void of such problems.

The next layer consists of the loyalists. These people in our lives can be family or friends. If you are fortunate enough to have loyalists in your life, then you have a treasure that cannot be measured. At every opportunity you should be expressing how much you love and appreciate them. They are like the crutch that holds up the person with a broken leg. Becoming involved in their lives is like the union between the ingredients of concrete, which form a solid bond not easily broken and capable of withstanding incredible loads. If for any reason you lack this person in your life, then perhaps you can become that person to another. When the going gets tough, hang in there with them. Cry with them. Live through whatever experience they are going through, and you will find new bonds you never before imagined.

Last, but most important, is the relationship like no other. For me, it is the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father. Like David in Psalm 139, whether I am at lofty heights or find myself at the depths of the sea, God is there. When perilous darkness surrounds me with fear, it is but light to Him. Like the prodigal son, the path my foolish decisions take me down, ends the moment I decide to turn back toward home. It is only then that I can see the Father running toward me.

When trouble comes, as it always does, I hear the faintest whisper in the depths of my heart. “When you need me – I’ll come running.”

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He Meets me in my Suffering

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I think one of the things that people struggle with, whether or not they believe in God, is why suffering exists. In the believer’s mind, why does he allow it. In the unbeliever’s mind, why should I believe in a God who allows it. There are many great minds out there who have made it a personal mission to search for answers to these deep questions. I have been alive long enough to know what suffering is to some extent. Suffering exists in many forms, but I have not had to endure even a small fraction as what others have. Though to the one suffering, theirs seems to be unique in every way, separate from others. That is because it is personal suffering and you will feel no suffering stronger than your own.

I’ve wrestled with the question, why suffering. I’ve heard many opinions on the topic and even formed some beliefs of my own. Like it or not, suffering isn’t going away any time soon that we know of. People have told me they once believed in God but endured a personal crisis, or that of a loved one, that caused them to see things differently. My heart goes out to them. Five years ago, I started a pursuit. Up until that point, I believed in God. I was brought up in a Christian home and taught to believe in the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I kept hearing about Jesus Christ and wanted to know more about his life here. I started reading the Gospel of John. Afterward, I read Matthew, Mark, and Luke. My pastor at the time was in a three-year study of the life of Jesus and taught on that topic every Sunday.

I asked myself a question, if God did take on the form of a man, then that would separate him from any other Deity of any religion. While I could not understand everything with timing, what I could see was how Jesus came and lived as a man. He witnessed the human condition of suffering by surrounding himself with it. He went to people that were shunned, outcasts in their communities. He saw value in people that others discarded. Crowds followed him wherever he went. There is no doubt he was wise and powerful because he shook up everything. As a man, Jesus was susceptible to the same emotions you and I are. He could have felt pain, sorrow, grief, and anger. The Bible clearly states he did. The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35, where it says, “Jesus wept.” Why would he weep? It is a good question to dwell on for a while. I have speculated the answer but do not think it is limited to just one.

Even when we completely believe an outcome to be true, knowing this in our hearts still does not remove the pain and suffering we must endure. When my brother died when I was 25, I believed in my heart then that one day I would see him again in Heaven. Yet, the grief and sorrow I’ve known at times early on were unbearable. Yet, somehow, I was sustained through them all.

In the time Jesus lived, Jewish people were being persecuted by the Romans. The disciples followed Jesus around and believed him to be the Messiah, the one who would bring in a new kingdom. When his body ended up crucified on a cross it seemed that everything they believed in, and the one they believed in, was for nothing. All their hopes seemed to disappear in one day. Jesus told them earlier on that he would be leaving. The disciples were distraught that the one they followed would go where they could not follow. But he assured them, in John 14:16, that he would ask the Father to send a comforter, a helper. The Spirit of truth was sent.

During our suffering, we succumb to just about anything to deal with it. I have come to rely on many things over the course of my lifetime. All have satisfied for a brief time but soon left me empty and unfulfilled. The world offers hope in a bottle. Some pay only once, a small price. Others pay twice, the second time with their health, or even their life. Anything else the world has to offer peace comes at a price. If you do not pay, you cannot have it. What hope then shall we have if we cannot pay the price? In a world that was broken and twisted by our evil hearts, God sent his son and established a new covenant. In order to save the world, he had to watch his only son be crucified by the hands of his own creation. Jesus cried out in Matthew 27:46, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

Yes, God is all too familiar with suffering. While I do not understand why it exists, I’ve chosen to believe that God is just. If a person chooses not to believe in God because he allows suffering, the suffering will continue to exist long after your pronounced unbelief. I ask, in what do you place your hope in to endure suffering? In people of corruptible hearts, of whom all but one has failed? In governments, which have risen and fallen numerous times? In a substance, which when not available, leaves you powerless to endure a crisis?

By faith in God through Christ, I believe that he is with me at all times because his spirit lives within me. God is fully aware of my environment and circumstances. When trouble arises, the moment I turn to him, he is there. Always. Peace is made available. I don’t have to wait until a store opens to buy it. I don’t have to worry about it being stripped away by another person. He helps me endure every trial, every struggle. All this has been available to anyone, anywhere, anytime, all for no cost to them. But bear in mind, there was a price and it was higher than any of us could ever imagine. God sent his son, who paid this price with his life. What greater price can someone pay than with their own life?

God meets me in my suffering. In what, or whom, meets you in yours?

A Life of Excellence, part 11

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Many people would agree that spirituality has a valuable place in our lives. For me, living a life of excellence spiritually means that I must continue to grow in relationship and communion with God because that is whom I place my faith in. As I’ve already said in other blog posts, this has become the most important thing to me in this life. This priority is aimed above myself, my family, and any relationship with a close partner. The word aimed was used because we fall short so often, but it is something that is strived for.

At first glance, it may seem selfish that God would want first place in my life. So, I’ve tried to make sense of it by thinking of it in another way, a day in the life of. Let’s say I was married and had children and was the sole provider for my household. During the day, my family has no idea, or can even mentally process what I’ve been tirelessly working on. How do you think I would feel if my children then spent all their time with others, instead of me? What if my wife spent all her time with friends or watching television while tuning me out completely? Can I not get five minutes of alone time with them? If I genuinely loved them, I would keep doing all the things even though they paid no attention to me. But when you look at it, how selfish would they be, always accepting something from me but never showing love and appreciation in return?

Through the years I’ve come to believe the best version of me I’ve been able to give my family, partners, and even me, has been made greater as a result of putting God first place in my life. My life has been transformed in so many ways, I cannot help but share my faith because it has worked for me on such a deep level that I want others to share. I continue to place an emphasis on growing spiritually every day, not just to obtain a deeper knowledge of life but a deeper relationship.

It is true many children follow the faith of their parents. For this reason, faith is often criticized. Some would argue that the child needs to think and make up their minds for themselves. While part of that statement is true, it is full of holes. If you allow children the full freedom to follow out their own decisions, rather than those of an adult, it will probably end up really bad. They think it’s okay to play in the streets. Imagine given the free choice to eat ice cream every night for dinner. Things like eating vegetables… are you kidding me, never again! Brush my teeth, who has time for that? Children are instructed to follow orders all the time, but it is for good reason.

Children haven’t lived long enough to know the consequences of their actions and decisions. They must be given guidance. If left to their own devices, they might become tyrannical rulers over other children. They do not fully develop the ability to reason until their mid-twenties. Until they have done so, many parents try to guide them as best as they can until then. Part of that includes teaching what has worked for the parents. We must learn early on how to live among others or risk ending up at war with them.

When children get older, they learn how to think and reason for themselves. As a result, some have challenged the religious views they were taught at an early age. If they go to college, they will be exposed to alternative ways of thinking that contradict what they’ve been taught. Highly intelligent people will be coming at them with new material. Chances are that many students aren’t prepared for such questions. All of a sudden, they are told what they believed in was wrong and given other ideas to believe in. I’m not a parent, so my opinion really doesn’t matter but I will share it anyway, coming at it from the perspective of a child. While my parents did not cover all the topics I would eventually face as an adult, I knew where they stood on certain things. I witnessed firsthand how their decisions impacted their lives, which was a testament to their faith. With all the new ideas I heard, I did not witness the same amount of years and see where that way of thinking led.

Even when it seemed like my faith wasn’t working, I knew that God was. The plan always unfolded before me. The delays were usually the result of me not taking the next step, not the other way around. I may not have liked the timing or agreed with the methods but looking back it makes a lot of sense. Out of all the posts on living a life of excellence, none would mean the same for me if I had not chosen to live a life of spiritual excellence. Each area of our lives influences the others, and by far, spirituality has influenced me more than any other area.

Perspective of Today

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With what is going on in the world today, fear, doubt, and worry have forced their way into most homes, businesses, and governments. The financial burden many people are facing today is unbearable. The loss some people are experiencing ranges from life itself (or loss of a loved one) to a loss of supplies. The number of cases increases, and our future seems uncertain. With all the social distancing, we are encouraged to stay distant from each other.

The loneliness of isolation further deepens our sorrow. Our hearts long to be close to one another again, to touch and to hug. Each day can be difficult to get through. There is no definitive end in sight to what is going on. We’ve heard good news from some areas that reignites our hope. Later, we hear some of those same areas are in trouble again. Questions plague our minds. What will happen in the next two weeks? Two months? What if it goes on longer, what will happen then? Can we make it?

You have a choice. You can put your faith in politicians, and hope they take appropriate actions. One thing is for certain, they themselves will be taken care of. You can put your faith in people, although many things happening is beyond peoples’ control. Many are losing jobs or being laid off. You can put your faith in the media, who are treating this epidemic like a ninety percent off sale, grabbing all they can get their hands on, further spreading the mass production of fear and hopelessness. You can try everything under the sun and see them all fail to bring the peace your soul longs for. If in that moment, when life has you on your knees, in your hearts you can cry out to the one they call Immanuel (God with us).

People are quick to assert what God is or isn’t doing but let’s not forget that God is sovereign. He understands the end from the beginning. It is only we who are dumbfounded by what happens. Rather than focus on all that is wrong, I am believing in all that is right. I’ve witnessed numerous human beings accomplish amazing feats with little to work with. Think of a potter that turns a lump of worthless looking clay into a fashionable vase. Think of Michelangelo who spoke of the masterpiece that lay secretly inside a block of stone. There have been countless lives who have taken a total disaster and created something beautiful. Imagine what the creator of the universe can do.

I said countless, but I believe God has numbered every life. I believe that he works in and through us, both believers and nonbelievers to accomplish his purposes. He tugs at every human heart, to hear his voice and follow. We are also instructed to love one another. Not everyone follows and many will make the wrong choice not to love one another. Here’s the thing though; enough will. We likely won’t hear about it, but you will see it in action. A neighbor will check on their elderly neighbors to make sure they have what they need. Grown children will do what they can to provide for their aging parents who are scared to go out. Some places will even give away needed supplies in order to make sure everyone has enough. Friends and neighbors will sacrifice and share with one another. Medical personnel will put their own health and safety at risk to care for those who have been infected with this virus.

All the bad is screaming during this epidemic. However, if you listen for it, you will hear the whispers of the good. Good works tirelessly, outside the spotlight, and often in the shadows. Good brings life and light to the darkest of places. Don’t just witness the good. Be the good! Understand that strength is not given for tomorrow, nor for any time in the future. It is given only today. In other words, strength is given for today’s battles, not tomorrows. We will get through this, day by day.

Do what you can not to spread the virus. Do all that you can to spread love.

I’m praying for you all. God bless, take care.

The Right One

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It is fascinating to me, as I believe it, how God sends people into our lives. It could be said they are sent at just the right time. However, even when it seems like it is the wrong time, it could turn out to be the right time. Years ago, I met a young man in his mid-twenties at my job. For his age, I was not shocked to see the behavior and hear of the things he was doing.

At the time, I had not attended church for a number of years. After my older brother passed away about five years prior, I wrestled with many questions. Even though I was not a churchgoer, I still considered myself to be a Christian. Based on some of my decisions and how I behaved at certain times, one may not have guessed it. But whenever the topic came up, I tried not to deny my faith. Maybe at that stage of my life, I ran from God. All I can say for sure, is that I was not running toward him.

The young man and I became good friends and shared similar interests. One day, a shocking turn of events happened in his life when he found out he was going to be a father. Over the next two years, I watched his life transform before my eyes. I won’t say what all happened, but it was remarkable. In that time, he began seeking God with a passion. That passion, to some, would have been considered extreme. Eventually, his enthusiasm bubbled over into my life and I wondered why he was so excited all the time. He knew that I was a Christian and our talks shifted toward the spiritual side of life. Since I was older and a Christian for as long as I could remember, maybe he thought I had answers.

He spent roughly six months discussing scriptures with me and passing notes with Bible verses scribbled on them. At the time, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I was not looking at most of them. Every once in a while, I would take a quick peek though. He shared some materials that were available online for free. One story was from a book that took me months to get through because I could only do so in rather large chunks but spread out over time. The strangest thing happened. After stopping, each time I started up again days to months later, I was in a different place in my life that corresponded in the book. If I had rushed through the whole thing right away, it would not have had the same impact on me. The timing, in other words, was perfect. Words I desperately craved to hear jumped out at me, not just on one occasion but many.

My heart told me to go back and look through some of the other materials my friend had referred me to. At the time, free was the only price I could pay for something. Anything available for free is often deemed less valuable. However, there are times when nothing could be further from the truth. I remember downloading a series from a pastor who put all his material online at no charge. People argue until they are blue in the face over what preachers say and do. What I know for sure, is something in those messages reached out to me. The material wetted my appetize like salad and breadsticks, and I was ready for more.

Friendships can come and go throughout life because it is easy to lose touch. I have to admit though, since that point in time, my life has never been the same. For me, after years of struggling and wrestling with my thoughts, God started to do a new thing in my heart. To think, it all started when he sent the right one into my life.

Silence after Prayer

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Just because it is silent after a prayer doesn’t mean God is not listening. Nor does it mean God approves of what it is you are praying for. In the rush of decision making nowadays, we want an answer immediately. As a Christian though, I want to pray about decisions before making them, especially for the larger ones. On the surface, this seems like the right thing to do. However, praying before doing is actually the easy part because it is routine.

The difficult part often comes next, if that is, you actually wait for an answer. If you are like me, many times you only wait five minutes. If not given an answer in that amount of time, then certainly God must be okay with it, right? If it were only that easy. However, it usually never is. Sometimes we allow the noise around us to overtake the still small voice inside us. How would you feel if you were trying to speak, and someone continually allowed your voice to be drowned out? What if you were trying to speak to them and they suddenly turned up volume of the radio or television?

It would be downright arrogant and foolish to think that God always sided with our decisions. The sad part of it is, we always hold Him accountable for when it doesn’t work out right. Sometimes I wonder, if right before we’re about to do something stupid, God whispers not to do it. Then, when we panic in our own foolishness, God waits for us to seek Him out for the answer. In the meantime, we turn to everything under the sun, which He created, for answers. Finally, at the end of it all, we say, “I guess all we can do now is pray.”

That attitude about prayer makes me cringe. What makes me angrier, is that I’ve said it myself. For me, I genuinely believe in the God I am praying to, which in effect means I believe in the power of prayer. Prayer is difficult to explain to someone who has never done it before. I have a friend from China that once commented that praying was like talking to the air. If you stop and think about it, talking literally is – talking to the air. The difference is in who you think is listening or not.

When you talk out loud to another person, there are various kinds of responses they could give. If they were in another room and you spoke out loud, if no response came, would you assume no one was there? If you heard an audible voice, you would know someone was there even though you could not see them. If a person was far enough away, you could still see them, but no longer hear them. If you were flying high in a plane, you would not see, hear, or be able to touch them; yet there they could be.

Last night, I was driving and saw a young man parked next to the road standing next to a monument of flowers at a place where he lost someone to a car accident. In a moment’s notice, I was touched by his pain. The man was completely unaware of me yet reached inside my soul and grabbed my heart and gave it a squeeze. I turned the radio off and prayed for him.

Crying eyes communicate sorrow. A genuine smile communicates joy and happiness. The point is, there are tons of ways to communicate but it takes a great deal of effort to learn how. Imagine how hard it would be to communicate your thoughts, feelings, and desires if you only knew ten words. When you know twenty thousand words, you can tell a different story. But to learn that many words, one must get ready for a long learning curve! If you sincerely desire to communicate with another, then you will put forth the effort to do so.

When reading the Bible, it tells me about who God is. When I read the New Testament, it tells of God took on the human form as Jesus. He walked among us, talked with us, cried with us, and gave us hope. He healed the sick and blind, and set captives free. He blessed the poor and meek in spirit. He preached that there was a way of restoration to the precious relationship with God the Father, and that He was that way.

In the mornings, I see the glory of a new sunrise. I witness the uniqueness of every living organism scattered throughout the earth, some of which the human eye still has not witnessed. At night I look toward the heavens and witness the vastness of an unimaginable universe filled with galaxies and stars. Meanwhile the moon perfectly balances out our planet, controlling the tides of the oceans. Under a microscope, a whole new world explodes right before my eyes on a cellular level. When a snowflake falls, while I no longer eat them on my tongue, I do marvel at the level of such exquisite detail that is put into something that seconds later disintegrates.

Why would the Creator of all things do things this way? Why put so much complexity into literally every material thing humanity would spend thousands of years trying to comprehend? Why create a universe driven, bound and balanced by laws, in a perfect, intricate balance? I suppose those things matter to God. Maybe they matter to us, whether we realize it or not. When I read the Bible and it tells me that this unmatched force that exists, not bound by time nor space, wanted to have a personal relationship with me through Jesus, I had to explore what that would mean. I set out on a course to know who Jesus was. It took years but I realized that I want to spend the rest of my life in pursuit of Him! Nothing else compares and never before have my expectations been so wildly exceeded for a fulfilled life.

If you hear silence after prayer, do not stop praying. Jeremiah 29:11 is a popular verse in scripture. Verses 12 and 13 take it further by saying that God will listen to prayer and when sought with all the heart, God will be found! To my friend from China… prayer is not speaking to the air, but to God that created it and everything along with it!