This month we will:
- Discuss the importance of listening
- Chesapeake News
Listening is Critical:
I need to find a way to hide this August Blog from Linda, my lovely wife of nearly 49 years. If she were to discover that I have attempted to share my “wisdom” (with a small w) on listening she is liable to laugh herself to death.
Each January and August our church does 21 days of prayer and fasting. Every day many meet in person at the church from 6:00 AM to 7:00. At our Church of the Highlands Campus in Tuscaloosa there are normally between 500-700 people show up and half of them are under the age of 30. There is 15 minutes of worship and a short message, 30 minutes of personal prayer time, then that day’s session ends with 15 minutes of corporate prayer. It is a wonderful time to sort of re-boot the direction of your relatively short life span on planet earth and to ponder issues such as “How are you doing relative to your life’s purpose?”
For the two sessions this year (completed in August) I used a resource a book written by Rhoda Faye Diehl, “The Jericho Fast,” which is based on a seven day fast. What I do is carve out the seven days I plan to do the fast, spend a few days in preparation and then take notes each day of the seven days. When the entire 21 days is complete, I type it up in “action plan” format. It is a good supplement to my annual goals. For this to be successful one must “listen intently” to the Holy Spirit, who will guide you if you are open to listening.
The idea is life’s biggest problems/issues is your Jericho wall. Our family and CCI employees and close friends have a lot going on to address. There is the health of our daughter Leigh, which is the main thing and in addition, how to provide direction for a 33-year-old consulting business in a pandemic, when that business depends on face-to-face interaction to deliver the product. Those of you that have the experience of making payroll from your own checking account can identify. Defining the wall is no problem.
When you are trapped inside the wall it is tempting to just stare at the wall hoping it will somehow crumble and go away. Of course, it doesn’t go away. Staring at the wall doesn’t do much good.
Problems can either belong to you or to God. We get to choose. My experience is that I personally have not done well when I choose to go it alone. Prayer and fasting is a good way to allow God to do the directing and our role is to listen and document. Documenting is important when you get to be old and forgetful.
My experience for both January and August is I have what I consider a workable plan that will collapse the wall. The purpose of this brief article is to expose you to a process that you may not have tried before. I personally am pleased and feel better about the direction. I discovered things I would not have seen had I not opened myself up to listening and heeding what I heard.
Now – I need to go hide this from Linda.
- People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. John Maxwell
- Lord, when my circumstances threaten to overwhelm me, may I hear Your calming voice reminding me to fear not, for You are with me.
- You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. C.S. Lewis
- Your reputation is what people say about you. Your character is what God knows about you. Bobby Bowden
- Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:2-3
- A man there was and they called him mad; the more he gave, the more he had. John Bunyan
- A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. John Maxwell
- When nothing goes right, keep going right.
- There is a God shaped vacuum in every man that can only be filled by God. Blaise Pascal
- For most of us the prayer in Gethsemane is the model. Moving mountains can wait. C.S. Lewis
- Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential. John Maxwell
- Share each others burdens and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
- A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; A Christian man is the most dutiful servant to all, and subject to everyone. Martin Luther
- We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed up in overalls and looks like work. Thomas Edison
- Live to learn and you will really learn to live. John Maxwell
My daughter Leigh, and our president, is still in intensive care in our local hospital. If you are the praying type, we would love for you to send prayers on her behalf for healing.
We have taken a bold step and are forming a nonprofit; “The Chesapeake Unity Foundation.” We have always done a lot of charity work as an organization and have been deliberate in trying to give back to our community. We want to take this to a different level. Not a lot will change regarding services we offer however we plan to focus them on law enforcement and corrections, many of which have limited funds and resources to afford what we do. We also plan to continue to help organized “unity” events within communities.
There is a lot more to tell but I want to get this blog launched and elaborate more next month.